University To Staff: Swear You’re Not Gay Or You’re Fired

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A Christian college in Georgia is asking all employees to sign a “personal lifestyle statement” declaring their heterosexuality.

Shorter University instituted the pledge in late October, the GA Voice reports, and it reads, in part, “I reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality.”

According to university president Don Dowless, the pledge doesn’t intend to offend. “Our goal is to declare who we are” he told WSB-TV. But if you don’t sign it, your job may be at risk.“Anybody who adheres to a lifestyle that is outside of what the biblical mandate is, what the board has passed, including the president, would not be allowed to continue here,” Dowless added.

Since Shorter University is a private college, and doesn’t receive public funds, the move is legal, WSB-TV reports. And Dowless says similar pledges are not uncommon at other Christian universities. “These are biblical positions,” he said.

Shorter University released the following statement from Dowless:

… The desire of the Board of Trustees was to clearly state our beliefs and put them in a form that would be readily available for anyone who wanted to know more about our university. We are a Christ-centered institution committed to excellence in academics. Through our policies, we seek to honor Jesus Christ. We understand that there are those who do not agree with our beliefs. We are not trying to undermine their right to those beliefs, but want to be transparent about our own.

All employees of the university will be required to sign the policy documents as a condition of continuing employment. This will be part of the faculty contract and staff agreement renewal process next year. Anyone who chooses not to sign the documents will be choosing to end their employment with the university. The documents are currently a part of the hiring process for any new employees coming to the university.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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