On a recent fall day, a group of protesters gathered in a university courtyard, many holding rainbow flags. About 100 students and faculty members were fighting for LGBTQ rights on campus.
The scene was unusual, though — in some ways radical — given that the location was Azusa Pacific University, a Christian college, and that the debate was over how God would view the issue of same-sex couples.
“This isn’t something sinful, God,” one student said, leading the emotional gathering. “This is something beautiful. I pray that we continue to live out the mission of being difference-makers, God, that this world be a place of equality, God.”
The public display of support for LGBTQ students was a response to the evangelical Christian university’s recent decision to reinstate its ban on same-sex relationships. The school had quietly removed the ban in August and created a new LGBTQ pilot program, which includes the creation of weekly student meetings backed by the university.
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