A second Christian college changes anti-gay policy, after visit from Equality Ride

Back in April, news came about that Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, had changed its anti-gay student conduct code, contributing the force for the change, in part, with the Soulforce Equality Ride visits to the university.

A second Christian university visited by the Equality Ride in March 2007 has amended its student conduct code, offering more parity between straight and gay students.

Previously in its student conduct code, Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, punished “homosexual acts,” although the term was never specifically defined and could have included anything from one saying he or she was LGBT to holding hands, kissing, hugging or sexual intercourse.

The revised student conduct code places gay and straight students under the same code of no sex before marriage, which the University still defines as “one man-one woman.” The new wording specifically prohibits “pre-marital sex and homosexual intercourse.”

LGBT students at Samford University are now free to be openly honest about themselves and their lives and date and have a significant other in much the same way, and under almost the same rules, as heterosexual students.

The policy isn’t as good as we would like it, of course, but it is a major step forward for this very Southern Baptist school.

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7 Responses to “A second Christian college changes anti-gay policy, after visit from Equality Ride”
  1. Joe T. says:

    That’s really cool!

  2. Matt says:

    Yes… it is VERY cool. Samford University is a great place. When we visited the campus I was so charmed, I actually thought of transferring, lol. I thought the same about Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI; although, Calvin is a lot more progressive than Samford (I guess it’s Samford’s Southern Baptist connection, lol).

  3. Jarred says:

    You’re definitely right about it being a step in the right direction. And I think it would be unreasonable to expect them to jump immediately to the stance we’d like them to take, anyway.

  4. Casey says:

    Now that’s great news to start the day – thanks for the post!

  5. Matt says:

    The good news about all these policy changes is that even though some of the schools have yet to change their policy, we know without a doubt that the Equality Ride visits have made a huge impact on how all the folks in those college communities now think of, talk about and deal with the issue of LGBT students and staff. Unfortunately, some schools have responded negatively and some (at least one I knoww) have even made their policies more stringent, but the policy (psuedo)victories at BYU (wowza, major) and Samford and huge steps forward.

    The sense I got when I was at Samford was that it was moving more and more away from the Baptists anyway… I told my friends that I kind of felt like Samford was at the point Wake Forest University was maybe 5-10 years ago, right before they started to cut ties with the NC Baptist State Convention.

  6. Jarred says:

    Your comment about Samform oving away from the Baptists doesn’t surprise me. I seem to recall a news article earlier this year that discussed growing tensions between the SBC and various universities who felt the SBC’s doctrinal and political positions were increasingly getting in the way of the universities’ ability to offer a quality education. (I wish I could find the article again and post a link.)

  7. Matt says:

    Yeah… That is what has happened here in North Carolina. Most Baptist schools are really connected to their state conventions (who are, in turn, connected to the SBC) and about six more Baptist colleges & universities here in NC have split from the NC Baptist State Convention in the past year or so, including Mars Hill and Campbell.

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