Students protest for LGBT inclusion in school nondiscrimination policy

Love these students! Students at John Carroll University in Ohio protested during a school basketball game over the school’s unwillingness to include sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy.
From a student statement on YouTube:

John Carroll’s mission is to create people for others. That means support, protection, love, and understanding for all people without regard to color, creed, sexual preference, gender, age, or other personal factors. That’s the goal of a Jesuit institution.
By not explicitly voicing its support of LGBTQ students, faculty, and alumni, John Carroll’s administration is breaking those unspoken bonds of trust that make JCU a community.

Despite support from the faculty union to include sexual orientation in the policy, the school’s administration is holding firm. JCU President Robert Niehoff issued a statement saying that the policy wouldn’t be changed because it goes against “traditional Catholic moral teaching.”

The nondiscrimination policy is the university’s promise to employees and faculty that the institution will not discriminate based on gender, religion or race. In his message earlier this week, Niehoff issued a lengthy explanation of his views that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be welcomed and respected at the university. He stopped short of recommending that the policy be changed, however, instead offering a “community standards statement” as a supplement to the policy.

So make the “community” accountable, but not the school, huh? Lovely.

Join the Conversation

  • Comrade Kevin

    My alma mater, UAB, has put in place same-sex partner benefits so that it can stay competitive regarding hiring, particularly with its top-tier medical school.
    A state legislator proposed a bill to strip the provision.
    While efforts to interview Representative Bridges were unsuccessful, he has been quoted as saying on that what UAB is doing “is a misuse of taxpayers’ dollars.”
    “I don’t think the university should waste money by making a liberal or politically correct statement,” said Rep. Bridges.
    UAB is nationally noted and ranked high for its medical school. Turnbough feels in offering same-sex domestic partner benefits it will only make UAB a more desirable workplace in recruiting efforts.

  • supremepizza

    While I’m always against discrimination, I’m also always for the 1st Amendment. I’m fairly certain that the Catholic Church would sooner close the University than change its doctrine on homosexuality. Of course as long as they have the right to practice their religion as they see fit, I don’t see how you force a religious institution to ‘secularize’ its teachings.
    This may be where the federal purse comes in. I don’t think we can force a Catholic institution to dilute its beliefs, but neither do we have to give federal dollars to institutions which discriminate. I believe that was the tact taken by Philadelphia in its negotiations with the Boy Scouts. If they want to restrict the practice of homosexuality thats the prerogative of the prelates, but we don’t have to subsidize it.

  • sarah_steel

    Hmm, I’m curious as to how many Jesuit schools do not include sexual orientation in their policy. I go to one of the smaller and more conservative Jesuit universities (not that that’s saying a lot) and our policy includes sexual orientation.
    Considering the Society of Jesus would nearly cease to exist if the Jesuits discriminated against homosexuals (as there are many, many, MANY gay Jesuit priests and they’re not exactly shy about it), John Carroll’s position is almost laughable. Way to be completely out of touch.

  • sarah_steel

    As I noted in my comment below, it’s not unheard of for Catholic schools to include sexual orientation in their discrimination policies. This is more about students trying to change the school from within than the secular world attempting to infiltrate a religious institution.

  • Genevieve PlusCourageuse

    I think it’s about half of the Jesuit schools that have anti-discrimination policies. Others have “community standards” statements, which are good but not good enough, and which John Carroll now has.
    It’s more the board of directors and the state of Ohio (and some older alumni) who are out of touch in this situation. There’s a line in Catholic catechism about not discriminating against LGBT people (though of course it also mentions that they shouldn’t have sex), the University President wants to make this clear to everyone, and he’s in favor of amending the policy.
    It’s a bit more complicated than it seems, though of course this is still something I’m fighting for.

  • purplegril

    It’s not all that hard. You put in anti-discrimintation law that prevent discrimination of any employees or anyone paying for services. So people can join churches and do and think what they like, but if religious organisations want to run universities, they have to act within the law in terms of employment and paying students.