Azusa Pacific Lifts Ban on LGBT Relationships

ChurchLeaders | 9/24/2018 | Staff
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After extensive dialogue between students and administrators, Azusa Pacific University (APU) has ended a ban on public same-sex relationships on campus. Starting this fall, the student conduct code at the evangelical Christian college no longer singles out homosexuals; instead, “biblical standards of sexual behavior” are upheld for all students.

According to a report in APU’s student publication, associate dean of students Bill Fiala said the goal is to have a consistent standard for everyone rather than “differential standards for different groups.”

APU - Alumni - Erin - Green - Folks

APU alumni Erin Green says it’s “unfair to single out queer folks in same-sex romantic relationships” when it’s “impossible to enforce or monitor” whether heterosexual couples are abstaining. Green is co-executive director of Brave Commons, an LGBTQ organization that helped facilitate conversations about the issue.

“Queer students are just as able to have romanticized relationships that abide by APU’s rules,” says Green. “The code used falsely assumed that same-sex romances always involved sexual behavior. This stigmatization causes harm to our community, especially those serious about their Christian faith.”

Debate - California - School - Headlines - Year

The debate at the California school made headlines last year when LGBTQ students demanded justice for an employee who was allegedly harassed. Mahesh Pradhan, 52, a former line cook at APU, says co-workers who thought he was gay called him names, hit him with a paddle, locked him in a freezer and more. Pradhan also contends he was unfairly removed from a supervisory role.

APU denies the allegations, saying it values and respects employees and doesn’t tolerate harassment. “It’s completely against who we are as a university community,” says spokeswoman Rachel White.

Addition - Conduct - Code - APU - Space

In addition to changing its conduct code, APU is creating a “safe space” for students, Fiala says. Previously, LGBTQ students had to meet secretly off campus and couldn’t advertise their support group, called Haven. In a new pilot program, the Office of Student Life hired...
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