Recent LGBTQ Demonstration Echoes Campus Conflict
Reported by Ian Snively
Photographed by Jessica Holder
Members of the LBGTQ community on the George Fox University (GFU) campus came together Feb. 9 to demonstrate on the Quad. They provided examples of discrimination on campus, but emphasized that they were not there in response to any particular event or issue.
“The protest is to have it so that people are aware that we are humans too,” said AleAnn Andrews, one of the people at the demonstration. “We have feelings and rights just like anyone else in the world. I know that there are people in George Fox who either despise LGBTQ+ people or believe that we need help.”
But some demonstrators said it was not a protest. “We weren’t doing this to change the university,” says Elliot Coulter. “There were no demands because it wasn’t a protest. It was merely a way to let queer students know they’re loved.”
GFU made no official statement about the demonstration, but the Community Lifestyle Agreement makes it so that the interests of the university and LGBTQ+ students are at odds.
According to GFU’s Community Lifestyle Agreement, employees and students must behave by the standards of the campus’s Christian beliefs. This includes details of what constitutes as a biblically consistent relationship.
“In regard to sexual morality,” reads the statement, “we believe that only marriage between a man and a woman is God’s intention for the joyful fulfillment of sexual intimacy. This should always be in the context of mutual compassion, love and fidelity. Sexual behaviors outside of this context are inconsistent with God’s teaching. We recognize these principles may conflict with the practice or opinion of some within the larger culture. We are convinced that this is God’s design for providing the most loving guidance and practice for individuals and our community.”