Students at Seattle Pacific University (SPU), a private Christian college, last week protested a rule issued by the school's board that bans the hiring of LGBTQ staff.
According to NPR, SPU's board of trustees voted on the rule to uphold the university's current employee lifestyle expectations regarding sexual conduct. But after the vote, the university saw students walk out of their classes on Tuesday and head to the university president's office for a protest.
"The decision," the university's statement read, "means SPU's employee conduct expectations continue to reflect a traditional view on Biblical marriage and sexuality, as an expression of long-held church teaching and biblical interpretation."
However, not all were in agreement.
"No matter what you believe, getting rid of these policies is the best way to make sure that our campus is an inclusive place for all people to be," AJ Larsen, a 2020 graduate and member of SPU's alumni coalition, said. "Not only in the student body but in the faculty, staff and administration. And that's going to make SPU a much better place to be."
Echoing that sentiment, SPU's student body president Laur Lugos added that "this is not a new fight — this has been an ongoing fight for 30 years."
Still, the Board of Trustees Chair Cedric Davis maintained that the board's decision was based on what they believed was most in line with the university's mission.
"We want the community of SPU to know that this was a thorough and prayerful deliberation," Davis said.
A statement from the board reads: "While this decision brings complex and heart-felt reactions, the Board made a decision that it believed was most in line with the university's mission and Statement of Faith and chose to have SPU remain in communion with its founding denomination, the Free Methodist Church USA, as a core part of its historical identity as a Christian university."
The board added it recognizes there is "disagreement among faithful Christians" regarding sexuality and identity.
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