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Staffers leaving Shorter University over required anti-gay lifestyle statement

Monday, May 14, 2012

ROME, Ga. — A tenured librarian at Shorter University is the latest among nearly 60 staff members to leave the Christian liberal arts college over the school’s ban on gay employees.

Michael Wilson, a 14 year employee at Shorter, resigned last week after refusing to sign a required “Personal Lifestyle Statement” against homosexuality.

Last October, the college announced a policy to require its more than 200 employees to sign the pledge against homosexuality, adultery, premarital sex, drug use and drinking in public.

The “lifestyle statement” also requires faculty to be active members of a local church, and is one of several steps the university has taken to intensify its Christian identity after the Georgia Baptist Convention began asserting more control over the campus six years ago.

The requirement has provoked an uproar among faculty, alumni and observers, reported the website Inside Higher Ed.

Before the new contracts were circulated, more than 50 members of the faculty and staff who felt they could not abide by its rules, or did not feel they should have to, resigned. Wilson stayed.

But when he was offered his contract for the academic year, he signed and returned it, but with one line crossed out: “I reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality.”

“It’s a matter of conscience,” Wilson said.

Wilson is one of nearly 60 staff members who are leaving Shorter because of policy changes at the school, according to Save Our Shorter, a group fighting to “reveal the truth about what is happening on the Shorter campus.”

Several departments, including science and the fine arts, have been “eviscerated,” Wilson said.

The university’s president, Don Dowless, said in October that any staffer not signing the agreement faces immediate termination.

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Filed under: Georgia

13 more reader comments:

  1. Exodus!!! Movement of Jah people! lol

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:54pm
  2. What a co’ink’i'dink! Derp.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:56pm
  3. Why do we need “more discrimination”…….

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:56pm
  4. Seriously? I think I just warped back in time about 200 years. I have the utmost respect to any and all staffers who walk out. Teaching our kids hatred and descrimination needs to end!

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:59pm
  5. not many will want to work at the school

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:03pm
  6. I’m more shocked that there were that many residents of Rome willing to stand up to hatred and bigotry. Generalization, perhaps, but made based on personal experience of the city / area.

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:10pm
  7. heres hoping that enough leave to cause the school major problems it is a pathetic excuse for a college anyway

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:23pm
  8. Looks these folks are going to be a bit SHORTER having folks teach their bigoted views.Good for those whom walked .

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:36pm
  9. His ranting sounds familiar…soon we’ll find out he’s a pedophile

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 7:36pm
  10. *wrong thread, I’m talking about Paul Cameron’s speech

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 7:38pm
  11. CRAZY fake ass people

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:05pm

    Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:43pm
  13. JAJAJAJA! Fucken ignorant cunts.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 11:35am