LA MIRADA, Calif. - On the same day President Obama declared, as the first U.S. president to do so, his support of same-sex marriage, a group of students at Biola University, a small evangelical university, unveiled the presence of the "Biola Queer Underground," sounding off a controversial debate about Christianity and homosexuality.
The group launched its own website and continues to post flyers throughout the Biola University campus with the following message:
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We want to bring to light the presence of the LGBTQ community at Biola. Despite what some may assume, there are Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Queers at Biola. We are Biola's students, alumni, employees, and fellow followers of Christ. We want to be treated with equality and respected as another facet of Biola's diversity."
Like many schools rooted in evangelical Christianity, Biola upholds a code of standards, which includes prohibitions on sex outside of marriage and same-sex relationships.
Biola President Barry Corey told students that the school has no intention of changing its policy to "fit increasingly accepted ethical or moral norms. In particular, we don't need to modernize or bend our biblically-based position on sexual ethics."
Biola University's new statement on human sexuality calls same-sex relationships "illegitimate moral options for the confessing Christian."
Members of BQU said the statement shows the "one-sided" nature of the conversation, with no room for those who believe homosexuality is not a sin.
Some university administrators, such as Chris Grace, vice president for student development at Biola, say the school would like to speak with members of the group but cannot do so because of members' anonymity.
Members of the BQU, who would only comment for a story by U.S. News anonymously, fear that by "coming out" they would be punished and possibly expelled.
Still, they consider themselves Christians above all else and enjoy Biola, according to the U.S. News report, and they don't wish to create "a war" on campus. However, they do want to have an open discussion about what it means to be a Christian and gay.
Even though members say they've received a lot of discouraging scrutiny, even by their peers, they told U.S. News they draw comfort in the fact that more Americans now support than oppose homosexuality, according to a recent Gallup poll, and are convinced Biola will eventually come around.
Source: U.S. News