According to a Christian university in Michigan, a fundraiser to benefit homeless LGBT youth would cause a “conflict” with their “mission and practices.”
Students at Andrews University in Berrien Springs were blocked from holding a bake sale to benefit Fierce Chicago, a group that provides services to homeless LGBT youth.
From The Raw Story:
The bake sale was planned by AULL4One, Andrews University’s unofficial gay-straight alliance, which boasts around 80 members, but is not allowed to advertise on campus because of the school’s affiliation with the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
AULL4One’s Eliel Cruz told Blue Nation, “Administration knows we exist, they allow us to exist, and some administrators even champion the group’s existence. But unfortunately, we are unable to advertise our meetings and events on campus.”
“I think the most helpful thing I can do is to draw your attention to the fundraising policy found in the Student Handbook,” AU Dean of Student Life Steve Yeagley said in an email to Cruz. “It simply states that funds may be raised for non-profit organizations ‘whose mission and practices do not conflict with those of the University.’ I think the judgment in this case is that there may be a perceived conflict between the mission and practices of Andrews University and those of Fierce Chicago — certainly not in their efforts to aid homeless youth, but in their approach to the LGBT issue, at large.”
“I hope this will be helpful,” Yeagley said in closing. “If a way can be found to serve LGBT homeless youth through an organization that more fully reflects the University’s mission and the stance of our denomination (which clearly calls for exhibiting compassion toward LGBT persons), let’s explore that.”
The Blue Nation Review’s John Paul Brammer contacted AU to get some clarity on the issue.
In their response, they stated that the problem was with Fierce Chicago’s “perceived advocacy stance” toward the LGBT community.
“As a result, we can and will support LGBT homeless youth through organizations whose mission and purpose clearly align with the religious mission and purpose of our university and its sponsoring church. We invite our student clubs to find the appropriate organizations and opportunities to do just that,” school officials wrote in their response.