"Policies Not Up For Change," Says CU at Soulforce Protest

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

Cedarville, Ohio-Cedarville University reinforced to an uninvited gay advocacy group on April 19 that the University's human sexuality policies are based on the Bible and are not subject to change.

Cedarville is one of 40 Christian universities nationwide targeted by Soulforce, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender group. While the University did not invite Soulforce to come, and indeed encouraged them not to come, twenty-six members of the Soulforce Equality Ride arrived on campus today.

The University prayerfully chose to use their uninvited protest as an educational opportunity. Janice Supplee, University Spokesperson, shared, "We acknowledge that human sexuality is a critical social issue. We used this protest to reaffirm the biblical approach to human sexuality to our students and to share truth with the Riders in a gracious way."

The day included question and answer sessions between University faculty and staff and the Riders, as well as two panel discussions featuring Riders and University faculty. Each Rider was accompanied by two volunteer student, faculty, or staff hosts. Neither the University president nor the administrative council met with the protestors. The University communicated to the Riders that its human sexuality policies are based on the Bible and are not subject to change.

Dr. Carl Ruby, vice president for student life, commented that the most difficult aspect of the visit was communicating to the Equality Riders that Cedarville University values them as God's creation while maintaining that all homosexual behavior is sinful and there is no room for change in the University's policy. "Cedarville's policy will continue to prohibit homosexual behavior, as well as any actions which would promote a homosexual lifestyle. Cedarville has one of the most conservative policies among Christian universities," he said.

As a Christ-centered higher learning community, Cedarville University affirms the Bible's clear and consistent teaching that God designed sex as a blessing to be enjoyed by one man and one woman within the context of marriage. The University's community covenant states, "Sexual intercourse and many of the behaviors leading up to it are reserved exclusively for the context of heterosexual marriage. Sexual activity outside of such marriage is prohibited." It also explains that a student could be dismissed for "homosexual acts, behavior, or promotion of a homosexual lifestyle."

Supplee added, "Our prayer is that the Riders' experience on our campus clearly communicated biblical truth regarding human sexuality while doing so in a gracious, Christlike way. We're proud of the way our students, faculty, and staff conducted themselves in what was really a very quiet day on campus. Soulforce also honored their agreement with us."

Lukas Seelye, Student Government President, said, "Everyone was cordial... all the students I've talked to have been excited about having the opportunity to talk with the Riders. I've been very impressed with the student response, just being gracious while sharing truth."

CU thanks local law enforcement and the Village of Cedarville for their assistance. The University also thanks the hundreds of friends who prayed over today's protest and requests continued prayer that God will use our witness in the Riders' lives.

For more information about how Cedarville prepared for the protest, as well as resources regarding homosexuality, visit www.cedarville.edu/speakingtruth.