Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Check Out Love Works: University of Iowa's LGBT-Inclusive Faith-Based Campus Group!

We've been following the story about Business Leaders in Christ (or BLinC) and their lawsuit against the University of Iowa, claiming that the university violated their religious liberties back in November 2017 when they revoked the group's registration as an on-campus organizations.

Here's the background... Back in February 2017, a gay freshman joined BLinC and another on-campus Christian organization. He was elected into a leadership position within the group and then got demoted because they found out that he's a gay man. He left both groups and apparently filed a complaint with the UI, claiming that they violated the UI's anti-discrimination policies. The UI investigated and agreed with the gay student. (You can read more about this case here.)

Back in this article, I commented that I think that LGBTQ people of faith should create a new on-campus faith-based group -- one that's actually inclusive and affirming. I noted that they should create an organization that allows LGBTQ students to practice their faith together and to determine their individual callings as LGBTQ people of faith, whether they truly feel called to lives of celibacy or if they feel called to marriage and family.

Husband Mark reminded last night that somebody actually did create a new inclusive on-campus faith-based organization last year. It was Marcus, the student at the center of this lawsuit. After he got rejected by BLinC and 24:7, he and a group of other students created a group called Love Works.

He created a promotion video for Love Works last January, where he talks about the group, its mission, and his reason for founding it:
Love Works is a campus ministry here at Iowa whose goal is to provide an inclusive space for all to talk about topics such as social justice, read passages from the Bible, and volunteer throughout our community.

I emphasize "inclusive" because when I was a freshman at Iowa last year, I applied for two leadership positions in two different campus ministries and was offered both of them. However when I told them I was gay, they rescinded their offers because they didn't like my "lifestyle." Well, obviously I didn't like that so that inspired Love Works.

Love Works is an inclusive campus ministry for all regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or really anything else. I want to provide a space for all to experience unconditional acceptance and love and to learn together.
Looking at their Facebook page, it appears that Love Works members have collected food donations for a food pantry and they've volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, in addition to their other organizational meetings.

If you're a UI student and interested in getting involved with an inclusive faith-based group that's more interested in serving their community than policing its members' dating lives, you should definitely check out Love Works.

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