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A Christian university is refusing to let students engage in same-sex relationships if their job asks that they support the “university’s mission,” according to a report from the Texas Tribune.
Abilene Christian University, a West Texas college connected to the Churches of Christ, banned gay relationships for student employee positions that require interactions with the public, claiming employees must be “delivering the educational experience that we’re offering.” The ban includes resident assistants living in student dormitories.
“Our goal here is not to place an undue restriction on students,” Abilene Christian President Phil Schubert said, the Tribune reports, “but we’re recognizing that employees, we believe, are asked to do something different in terms of carrying out the mission of the institution and delivering the educational experience that we’re offering.”
The school’s code of conduct outright bans pre-marital sex of any kind, and married gay couples aren’t allowed to have sex with their spouses, either. Meanwhile, students who aren’t working for the university are allowed to enter same-sex relationships as long as their relationship doesn’t involve sex before marriage.
“We believe Scripture teaches that God intends for sexual relations to be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman,” the university states on its official website.
Queer students and LGBTQ activists alike were reportedly concerned by the news, especially because the ban may violate Title IX from the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law that outlaws collegiate sex discrimination. The university has not applied for a waiver to the statue.
“Just because you say that your religious faith or your religious belief doesn’t allow you to have an openly LGBT person on your campus, I don’t care how you say it, is discrimination,” Campus Pride founder Shane Windmeyer told the Tribune. “Whether you can legally do it or not, we’re going to call you out on it.”
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.