Students Protest University’s Refusal To Hire LGBTQ Staff

Students at Seattle Pacific University are protesting the university's policy not to hire any LGBTQ staff members.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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Seattle Pacific University

A Christian University is being criticized by a minority of its students for upholding its Christian ideals. Seattle Pacific University has a hiring policy that excludes LGBTQ community members from its staff. They were asked to change this and voted against the measure. Now a group of students are protesting the decision.

This came after the school nurse sued Seattle Pacific University, alleging that he did not get promoted because he was gay. The case was settled out of court, but a student work group came together to request changes for the spring semester. The board of trustees voted on the changes requested and came to a unanimous no confidence agreement. This is based on their principles and religious affiliation with the Free Methodist Church USA. If the school — like so many other universities — welcomed openly gay staff and promoted homosexuality to their students they would be going against their religious beliefs, which are protected by the United States constitution. 

Of the over 3,500 students a group of about 200 are upset at the news and have staged a sit in. Teachers and other staff are feeding and caring for them as they refuse to go to class in protest. The Seattle Pacific University board has recognized that this disagreement between society and Christianity is ongoing. Just last week, Lee University in Tennessee was criticized over a leaked document draft instructing teachers to reinforce the bible’s definition of binary sex, ban gender flipping, and offer counseling for students who express gender confusion. That document was never finalized or sent out, and students didn’t express much concern, but many young adults have now been raised to treat sexual identity as something to celebrate and praise at a worshipful degree.

As some students express their displeasure at the lack of “diversity and inclusion” being allowed in the Seattle Pacific University staff, many may wonder why they would choose to attend a Christian school if they do not uphold Christian ideals. There are so many available colleges in the country which not only welcome LGBTQ staff, students, and content, but pander to it. Some universities even offer courses specifically designed to encourage the LGBTQ community, and others have gone so far as to pay for gender transition treatments. There are more options than ever, yet students are so used to fighting a culture war that many believe they will get what they want by simply decrying something or calling it discrimination. 

Contrary to this belief, Seattle Pacific University is well within its rights. Religious freedoms protect schools and teachers from being forced to bow down to LGBTQ doctrine. Last year a Shawnee State University professor won a lawsuit against the college for reprimanding him after he refused to call a student by their preferred pronouns. He sued on religious grounds that his belief in binary sex is a Christian principle. 

Seattle Pacific University

Although the LGBTQ community is a small minority of the population, they have gained much support from students. Instead of just asking for acceptance, many want to normalize gay and nonbinary activity, as well as change society to reflect their lifestyle. Because of pride month marketing and public school introduction of pro-LGBTQ lessons and activities, many young people are exploring their sexuality at younger and younger ages. This is something that is receiving pushback from concerned parents and religious schools, like Seattle Pacific University, which wish to uphold traditional values. The protesters say they will not leave until changes are made, but while they sit out of class, the majority of students at the Christian school continue to further their education.