ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Student Government Association at Abilene Christian University (ACU) recently voted on a resolution presented by a student. The resolution was a push to remove the words “between a man and a woman” from the Sexual Stewardship Policy in an effort for the language to be more inclusive to LGBTQ+ students.
The resolution passed by a student government 19-17 vote. It was then approved by the student government leadership team, which later took the resolution to be reviewed by the board of trustees. ACU’s president and board of trustees will have the final say.
The sexual stewardship policy was created in 2018 by the Board of Trustees and administrators as a guidance surrounding same-sex relationships. ACU President Phil Schubert said the Board of Trustees and administrators collaborated for a long time before creating the policy. In an email sent out to the Student Government Association (SGA), Dr. Schubert declined the resolution and added that the university will uphold a biblical interpretation of sexual relationships.
“This is not a change we are interested in making at this point, although we do value your perspective and opinion,” Dr. Schubert explained. “And so, I try to encourage them while remaining firmly committed to what we already established as our Sexual Stewardship Policy.”
ACU student and LGBTQ ally, who wished to remain anonymous, said the university went against the student body – considering SGA voted to pass the resolution with 52% voting in favor. In regard to discussion around campus surrounding the policy change, this source said the student body is equally divided in the debate of what the bible says regarding homosexuality.
“It’s pretty much 50/50 with my bible professors how they view it, and it’s not as black and white as people think… Especially when there’s a debate around- surrounding what they meant by homosexuality,” said this anonymous student. “They didn’t have a concept of sexuality back in ancient times.”
Students and supporters who identify with LGBTQ communities said the resolution did not ask ACU to affirm LGBTQ relationships, but at minimum to remove the wording which might excuse LGBTQ discrimination. ACU student. Jermiah Polk told KTAB/KRBC the Sexual Stewardship Policy refers to actions and not identity.
“As a Christian, I’m sure I can speak for other Christians when I say we don’t hate. Instead, it’s talking about a specific action and a specific behavior, not necessarily a specific identity or lifestyle,” Polk explained.
Students who still want the policy changed said they will continue to make an effort to make the campus feel safer and inclusive to LGBTQ students.