Abilene Christian University student employees not allowed to be in same-sex relationships
ABILENE, Texas (KTXS) - Abilene Christian University has updated its handbook.
The current handbook guidelines prohibit employees from being involved in same-sex relationships, but now the university is taking its enforcement of LGBTQ-related rules to the next level.
ACU announced Wednesday that student workers will now be forbidden from being involved in same-sex relationships despite stating, "We affirm the dignity and worth of all human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
Those found to be in violation of the new policy would lose their jobs.
Andrew Gilliland, a student employee and a junior acting major at ACU, feels that the university's new policy is unjust.
"It's an injustice on top of a number of other injustices and it's unacceptable," said Gilliland. "I understand that the board is trying to please a number of people, but they have to understand that this is costing students in real life."
An ACU spokesperson said Dr. Phil Schubert, the university's president, was unavailable to speak with KTXS about the change because next week is the university's spring break. In the meantime, some students and alumni are asking how a school that promotes inclusion and diversity could institute such a policy.
"I would just ask in which way does this apply to your LGBTQ students?" said ACU alum Trey Finley, an advocate for the LGBTQ community.
Finley believes more clarification is needed, both for his own sake and for the sake of others.
"My understanding is that I won't have any repercussions being an openly gay Christian man on this campus or an openly gay man on this campus, but that if I am a student employee, if I was found in a same-sex relationship or if I was open in a same-sex relationship, that some consequence would have to happen," said Gilliland. "I do think it will be another reason for gay students to stay silent, another reason for students to feel ashamed and another reason for students to not feel loved."
Gilliland wants people to know that they are loved, no matter what any person or group might say about them.