ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Student Government Association of Abilene Christian University (ACU) recently voted on a resolution presented by a student. The resolution sought to delete the words “between a man and a woman” from the Sexual Stewardship Policy in an effort to make the language more inclusive for LGBTQ+ students.
The resolution passed by a 19-17 student government vote. It was then approved by the student government leadership team, who then made a resolution to be reviewed by the board of trustees. The ACU President and Board of Directors will have the final say.
The sexual stewardship policy was established in 2018 by the board and trustees to guide same-sex relationships. ACU President Phil Schubert said the board and trustees worked together for a long time before creating the policy. In an email to the Student Government Association (SGA), Dr Schubert declined the resolution and added that the university would maintain a biblical interpretation of sex.
“It’s not a change we want to make at this point, although we appreciate your perspective and opinion,” Dr. Schubert explained. “And so, I try to encourage them while remaining firmly committed to what we have already established as our policy of sexual stewardship.”
An ACU student and LGBTQ ally, who wished to remain anonymous, said the university took issue with the student body – given that the SGA voted to pass the resolution with 52% in favor. Regarding the on-campus discussions surrounding the policy change, this source said the student body is equally divided in the debate over what the Bible says about homosexuality.
“It’s about 50/50 with my Bible teachers how they see it, and it’s not as black and white as people think…Especially when there’s a debate around what they mean by homosexuality,” the anonymous student said. “They didn’t have a concept of sexuality in ancient times.”
Students and supporters who identify with LGBTQ communities said the resolution does not ask the ACU to affirm LGBTQ relationships, but at a minimum remove language that might condone LGBTQ discrimination. Student at UCA. Jermiah Polk told KTAB/KRBC that the Sexual Stewardship Policy refers to actions, not identity.
“As a Christian, I’m sure I can speak for other Christians when I say we don’t hate. Instead, it’s 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 would continue to work to make the campus feel safer and more inclusive for LGBTQ students.