An Arizona university has decided to grant benefits to gay couples, but has said it still maintains that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Christian Today reports that Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix, which is a Christian college with about 16,000 students, said it made the decision in order to respect the laws of the country after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last June.
In a statement, GCU said, "As a result, notwithstanding GCU's sincerely held religious beliefs regarding marriage, we have recently been confronted with the issue of whether GCU will extend benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples. For the reasons articulated in this statement, in this specific instance, GCU is making a conscious choice to maintain its religious beliefs, while respecting and honouring its neighbours, as well as the system of government and laws that exist today, by extending employee benefits to spouses of lawfully married same-sex couples.”
GCU was clear that its decision to grant benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples does not change its commitment to a traditional view of marriage.
"To be clear, though, the University's decision in this instance, and the recent changes, or any future changes, in the government's definition of marriage, do not, and will not, change GCU's sincerely held religious belief that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman," the statement continued.
GCU had been criticized previously for denying benefits to same-sex couples, but the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which had criticized the school, has now applauded their decision.
"Some may judge GCU harshly for its decision to remain firmly rooted in traditional Christian convictions and steadfast in its commitment to the biblical view of marriage. Others may chastise the University for extending benefits to same-sex spouses because the decision can be misperceived as an implicit endorsement of non-Christian views,” said the school’s statement.
"Both responses would fail to comprehend GCU's position adequately. The decision to remain consistently Christian and profoundly biblical remains a legitimate, constitutionally-protected position. This position is neither intrinsically harsh nor unloving, no matter how unpopular it has become in some circles.”
Publication date: November 16, 2015