Duke University’s student government has declined to recognize a national Christian organization as an official student group because of its stance on LGBTQ issues.
The student senate unanimously voted against Young Life last week, the Duke Chronicle reported.
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Young Life, with local chapters in Durham and Chapel Hill, aims to introduce teens to Christianity and help them grow in their faith. The group has a rule that bans LGBTQ individuals from leadership positions, according to the student newspaper. The Duke student senate said that violates the Student Organization Finance Committee’s rule that every Duke student group must include a nondiscrimination statement in its constitution.
A Young Life sexual misconduct policy says it doesn’t exclude people “who practice a homosexual lifestyle from being recipients of ministry of God’s grace,” however, “such persons are not to serve as staff or volunteers in the mission and work of Young Life,” the Chronicle reported.
Clause - Constitution - Discrimination - Clause - Student
“They don’t have a non-discrimination clause in their constitution; they have a discrimination clause,” student senator Jackson Kennedy said at an earlier student government meeting where the issue was tabled.
The student government’s rules require that each student organization “affirms the spirit and letter of the University’s non-discrimination statement.” That statement from the Office for Institutional Equity says Duke prohibits “discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation and gender expression.”
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Duke students already are volunteering with Young Life in Durham and Chapel Hill, but the group wanted to become a recognized organization on campus to recruit more students and get support from student government. Duke is a non-sectarian university with historic ties to the United Methodist Church.
At the meeting, junior Tommy Hessel asked the Duke Young Life chapter to amend its rules to comply with Duke’s nondiscrimination policy, according to the Duke Chronicle. In response, Jeff Bennett, a master’s candidate at the Duke Divinity School and...
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