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It follows years of discussion and fits into the school’s broader attempt to be more inclusive, he said.
The student handbook will be revised over the summer to clarify that students who aren’t employees are free to be in same-sex relationships so long as they’re not sexually active — the same expectation the school has for heterosexual students who are not married.
When Ryan Clements, a 25-year-old alumnus of Abilene Christian University, found out his alma mater was planning to ban some students’ same-sex dating relationships, he said it “hit home in a big way.” Clements, an openly gay Christian, said he felt pained “that a school that I loved and that gave me so much and that I tried to pour myself into when I was there would take this kind of action against students like me.” The private college in West Texas, affiliated with Churches of Christ, said earlier this month it would bar student employees from dating people of the same sex.
The policy already applies to faculty and staff at Abilene Christian.
Details about which student jobs will be subject to the dating prohibition will be released in the coming months.
And Schubert has already said that some positions will be exempt because oversight bodies like accreditors and the NCAA “have certain standards that they are also interested in ensuring are in-place and intact.” “We want to be careful that in those circumstances and situations that we are not taking any positions that are contrary with the standards that we've agreed to uphold,” Schubert said.
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While school leaders are reluctant to risk losing their accreditation or ability to participate in the NCAA, they seem less worried about being policed by the U. The statute is now widely understood to ensure students are treated equitably in housing, admissions and athletics regardless of their gender identity, too.“We’ve heard from some that are upset we’re not taking a more open and affirming approach” and others who worry the school is becoming too permissive of actions “inconsistent with our theology.” Walking that tightrope has proven difficult for religious schools.Some schools, like Baylor University and Abilene Christian, have tried to rejigger their conduct codes.This carve-out was little-known before 2015, when a report from the Human Rights Campaign noted that dozens of faith-based schools had asked the federal government for waivers confirming they need not comply with parts of the statute.More than 253 exemptions, including for East Texas Baptist University and Howard Payne University, had been granted by 2016.
And a school conduct code has, for years, said sexual relations should only take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.