LGBTQ Group 'Biola Queer Underground' Stirs Controversy at the Evangelical University
By - Crossmap On May 25, 2012
President Obama's support of same-sex marriage has had far-reaching impact on Christian communities.
The historical comment made by Obama has set aflame a national debate, broke hearts and divided communities, and even possibly triggerred controversial debates at an evangelical university, where a LGBTQ group was launched on May 9, the same day the President made the announcement.
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Some students at "Biola Queer Underground" announced its presence at Biola University, a small evangelical university located in Southern California.
While the school officials have expressed willingness to have dialogue with the LGBTQ community, the members of the group opted to remain anonymous.
"Unless LGBTQ students who don’t view homosexuality or transgender identity as sinful are allowed to speak openly without threat, this conversation will continue to be one-sided," states the group's website.
"We really are at a disadvantage here because we don't know who these people are," said Chris Grace, vice president for student development at Biola.
The college would "love and welcome a conversation with them and that's what we are hoping for."
The 104-year-old Christian university has a code of standards that denounces sex outside of marriage and homosexuality.
Sex is, according to Biola's student handbook, "designed by God to be expressed solely within a marriage between a husband and wife."
"Sexual misconduct, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case will result in disciplinary action," the school stated.
Earlier in May, Biola issued an official Statement on Human Sexuality.
"God’s design for marriage and sexuality is the foundational reason for viewing acts of sexual intimacy between a man and a woman outside of marriage, and any act of sexual intimacy between two persons of the same sex, as illegitimate moral options for the confessing Christian," reads the statement approved by the Board of Trustees.
To the group members' fear of being expelled from the school upon coming out, "I guess you'd almost call that a myth that students would get expelled for that,” said Grace.
Biola's "open-door policy" will allow the students to talk about their struggles and receive spiritual counseling.
However, students who identify as gay and are engaging in gay behavior and unwilling to uphold the community standards, "we would initiate the dismissal process," he added.