Is this a Contradiction or Pressure to Conform from the Federal Government?
Christian Today reports that Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix has decided to grant benefits to legally married same-sex couples. However, GCU maintains it’s stance on the biblical definition of marriage.
Grand Canyon University is a Christian college with 16,000 students. It decided to make this decision in order to respect U.S. laws after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June.
In a statement made by GCU, it said, “As a result, notwithstanding GCU’s sincerely held religious beliefs regarding marriage, we have recently been confronted with the issue of whether GCU will extend benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples. For the reasons articulated in this statement, in this specific instance, GCU is making a conscious choice to maintain its religious beliefs, while respecting and honoring its neighbors, as well as the system of government and laws that exist today, by extending employee benefits to spouses of lawfully married same-sex couples.”
The statement continued on to clarify, “To be clear, though, the University’s decision in this instance, and the recent changes, or any future changes, in the government’s definition of marriage, do not, and will not, change GCU’s sincerely held religious belief that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman.”
GCU had previously been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for denying benefits to same-sex couples. The ACLU told the university that it was violating federal laws, and an employee filed a complaint. The Gospel Herald also reports that GCU was criticized by employees for denying same-sex benefits.
“This is an important win for everyone involved,” said Victoria Lopez, the ACLU chapter’s legal director. “People should not be discriminated against because of who they are, who they love and who their families are.”
ACLU now applauds GCU’s decision.
GCU maintains that they will continue to teach that marriage is a sacred union between a man and woman. It will continue to be ingrained throughout the University’s curriculum and classrooms. The University says that “This belief is not negotiable.”
“Some may judge GCU harshly for its decision to remain firmly rooted in traditional Christian convictions and steadfast in its commitment to the biblical view of marriage. Others may chastise the University for extending benefits to same-sex spouses because the decision can be misperceived as an implicit endorsement of non-Christian views,” said the school’s statement.
“Both responses would fail to comprehend GCU’s position adequately. The decision to remain consistently Christian and profoundly biblical remains a legitimate, constitutionally-protected position. This position is neither intrinsically harsh nor unloving, no matter how unpopular it has become in some circles.”