Sunday, May 28, 2017

Christian Colleges and Gay Marriage

I recently pulled out the alumni magazine for the college that I once attended -- which is a liberal arts college in Northeast Iowa that is affiliated with the ELCA. I got to the update section of the magazine. It's the place where people share their job developments, as well as their marriages, births & adoptions, and their obituaries. Leafing through the three columns of marriages, I noticed four particular gay marriages among the group -- two female couples and two male couples.

It's not the first gay marriages that have appeared in our alumni magazine. My own gay marriage was once reported -- though it took a while before they would publish information about it. They wouldn't share when we had our commitment ceremony in the late 90s, but they did include our marriage when we got legally married in 2010.

I try to notice when there are gay marriages reported among the alumni and a lots of times there are names where it's just not clear. Stuff like Pat and Alex Smith. That sort of thing. But the four couples included in this latest alumni magazine all possess gender unambiguous names, so there's no wishful thinking on my part happening here!

I share this story because I often hear from LGBTQ people who attend Christian colleges or universities or who want to, but then they get trapped in a cycle of needing to remain closeted or else risk being suspended or expelled or have their credentials withheld. I want people to know that there are Christian alternatives to anti-gay/ex-gay colleges and universities. There are Christian colleges where LGBTQ students are welcomed, affirmed, and included and whose families are not swept under the rug for the sake of appearance.

Don't settle for less.

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