Hope College Amends Controversial Position On Sexuality

Hope College has decided to lift the ban on study and discussion of homosexuality on campus but will to continue to deny support to school groups supporting gay issues, reports Michigan Live.

Hope alumni pressured the school to re-evaluate its original policy, which stated that the college did not condone homosexual acts and would not provide financial support for groups that advocated for homosexuality acceptance, after Hope administrators told Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black that he would not be allowed to screen and discuss the film "Milk" on campus.

The incident mobilized alumni to compose a petition to reject the school's 1995 statement on homosexuality and prompted the formation of an organization called Hope is Ready, a group "dedicated to full inclusion and open dialogue on Hope's campus."

And although the new policy was months in the making, some students and alumni are saying that the change is insufficient.

Bruce Van Voorst, class of 1954, wrote that in an op-ed that the new statement "missed the mark." A student representative of Hope is Ready told WZZM 13 that he considered the new policy to be "the opposite of progress." Another said that the policy was "more exaggerated, more extreme in their intolerance towards people with different views towards sexuality."

The students said they were looking for the college to reject the policy altogether.

WZZM reports that the controversy has inspired discussion of an anti-discrimination ordinance in Holland, Michigan.

Check out the full texts of the statement released on Friday and the original words issued in 1995 here and here.

Do you think the new policy is an improvement? Let us know what you think in the comments section, and see WZZM's coverage below: