Hope College Refuses To Change Policy Condemning Homosexual Acts

Hope College's Board of Trustees will not change a policy that condemns homosexual acts but "supports fair and kind treatment for people with a homosexual orientation."

A group of alumni, students and faculty started a movement against the policy after the school in 2009 refused to let screenwriter Dustin Lance Black lead a talk and screening of his Oscar-winning movie "Milk" on campus. (Black hosted two sold-out viewings off-campus, both of which attracted "mainly students and faculty from Hope," the Christian Post reports.)

The policy was instituted in 1995 and also censures gay advocacy. The policy does, however, allow for discussion of homosexuality in an academic context.

The board made its decision Friday in a closed-door meeting and released a statement, obtained by the Holland Sentinel:

"The college's current position on homosexuality is based on its interpretation of scripture. It is recognized that well-intentioned Christians may disagree on scriptural interpretation. Still, humbly and respectfully, the college aligns itself in its interpretation with its founding denomination, the Reformed Church in America, the orthodox Christian Church throughout the ages, and other Christian colleges and universities."

The Christian Post has more on the lead-up to the meeting:

The issue ... has been discussed on campus for over a decade, particularly in 1999 when gay rights groups visited the campus and when the school denied the bid of the Gay Straight Alliance to be recognized as a formal campus student organization during the 2000-01 school year.

The Post also reports that critics of the policy say that the college has not done enough to open up dialogue around homosexuality. According to the Sentinel, the board of trustees "may eventually amend the policy in a committee."

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