World Vision President Rich Stearns confused the public last week by going back and forth about hiring gay, married Christians. On March 24, the organization made the announcement that homosexuals in legally married relationships would be permitted to work for World Vision, but the decision had been officially reversed within two days.
Stearns has taken heat for the loss of approximately 5,000 orphan sponsors. He spoke out about the aftermath of flip-flopping decisions in an interview with Religion News Service.
Stearns called last week “painful” due to causing concerns amongst employees and sponsors nationwide. He said, “I feel responsibility. I’m the leader. I led us into this situation. I’ve made some mistakes and I have to live with that.”
In the wake of switching the policy back to not permitting gay Christians to work for the company, Stearns is concerned that World Vision will be viewed by the public as an anti-gay. He says that World Vision is not anti-gay, but “pro-people.”
Stearns stressed that World Vision is first and foremost a Christian relief organization whose mission is make positive changes in the world. “We see that the issues of poverty and suffering and caring for the least of these around the world, these issues sometimes seem less important than these issues of policy and sexual morality in the United States. I’m not trying to equate the two, but to say we should certainly be as passionate about serving the poor as we are about issues of sexual morality in the United States,” he said.