The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Staff ed: Many harmed by exclusive policy

Each Grinnell student has the right to any belief and to any sexual orientation. Both of these rights are personal and together they can be contentious. However, our values as an institution compel us to uphold both, side by side.

The S&B condemns the discriminatory policy of the Grinnell Christian Fellowship, formerly the Grinnell College Christian Fellowship (GCCF).

Last spring, GCCF formalized a policy that their leaders could not seek homosexual relationships. Some members who disagreed with this policy formed an alternative group called Grinnellians Seeking Christ, which accepts all students as leaders regardless of sexual orientation. GCCF was found to be in direct violation of Grinnell’s Non-Discrimination Policy and lost their status as a student group.

Grinnellians have a right to believe homosexuality is a sin. Students have a right to congregate and express those views, just as any students have a right to congregate and express any religious belief. Grinnell is an open community and there is a place for religion on this campus.

However, religious tolerance does not excuse a policy of discrimination. GCF crossed the line from expression to oppression when they banned LGBTQ members from becoming leaders. This policy harms queer students who seek fellowship in their Christian faith, stigmatizes homosexuality across campus and hinders the learning of all students, who could benefit from an open conversation about sexuality and faith.

This type of division within a group that provided meaningful fellowship for conservative religious beliefs is detrimental to the group and to this campus. It is unfortunate that such a small aspect of their faith resulted in a loss of free and open discussion and the equality of their members.

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