In 2013 the Baylor University’s Student Senate voted to request that the school’s Board of Regents revise the sexual misconduct policy by removing a reference to homosexual acts. At that time the policy stated, “Baylor will be guided by the understanding that sexuality is a gift from the creator God…misuses of God’s gift will be understood to include but not limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication, and homosexual acts.” The Student Senate proposed that the phrase “homosexual acts” be substituted with “non-marital consensual deviate sexual intercourse.” (Which to this writer wasn’t really an improvement!) The rational proposed for the substitution was that the reworded policy would not then target solely homosexual conduct, but all sexual behavior outside of marriage. The Senate’s vote however, was vetoed by the Senate’s President at that time, Wesley Hodges. The Senate was unable to muster the 2/3s majority vote required to over rule Hodges’ veto.
On 15 May 2015, the Baylor University Board of Regents quietly approved a new policy stating, “Baylor will be guided by the biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity. Thus, it is expected that Baylor students, faculty and staff will engage in behaviors consistent with this understanding of human sexuality.” When approached by the Huffington Post, BU spokesperson Lori Fogelman said.”These changes were made because we didn’t believe the (original) language reflected Baylor’s caring community.”
Baylor University is the oldest university in Texas and one of the first universities west of the Mississippi River. It was chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845 and established in Independence TX. After the US Civil War, finding itself bypassed by the railroad in Independence, the university moved to it’s current city of residence, Waco TX, in 1885. BU is a private university, founded by Baptists, but today very much independent of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention, both of which once played a more active part in the university’s affairs and both of which criticize many of the more and more less conservative moves made by Baylor’s Regents.
Images from Baylor University website.
Posted by David Allen
In anticipation of those who question this story, as previously mentioned over the weekend, our mandate at the Episcopal Cafe and especially at The Lead is to report on TEC, but also the Anglican Communion, our sister churches in the Anglican Communion, our ecumenical partners, as well as, Christianity in general. In the words of our Managing Editor at the Episcopal Cafe, the Revd Jon White, (It) “sounds good to look at how other traditions are grappling with things.”