By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer
Baylor University President Linda Livingstone voiced Baylor’s support for LGBTQ students but left university policy unchanged in a statement reaffirming the university’s views on human sexuality on Tuesday.
Baylor’s official stance affirms the school’s biblical view on human sexuality, including the view of both “heterosexual sex outside of marriage and homosexual behavior” as deviations from the norm. In the statement sent via email to students, faculty and staff yesterday, Livingstone responded to “an increased number of questions” regarding Baylor’s positions on sexuality and LGBTQ issues with a new web page on the Baylor website answering frequently-asked questions.
In her statement, Livingstone also said Baylor “must do more to demonstrate love and support for our students who identify as LGBTQ,” though no policy changes were announced.
Among the Baylor LGBTQ community, reactions were mixed. Hayden Evans, a Master’s student from Searcy, Ark. said he saw the statement as a sign of progress.
“I’m very thankful for Dr. Livingstone, for at least [contributing] to this conversation and sending this email,” Evans said. “[The administration seems] very willing to continue the conversation.”
Evans also said a conversation alone wasn’t enough and called for real change.
“You can only say that you’re loving and caring so many times,” Evans said. “You’re still not allowing equal representation or equal voice or equal platform at the university.”
Others disagreed with Baylor’s biblical reasoning for its stance on sexuality. Plano senior Elizabeth Benton, president of the unofficial LGBTQ group Gamma Alpha Upsilon, said Baylor’s Baptist faith and acceptance of LGBTQ students should not be mutually exclusive.
“I grew up in the Baptist church, and I still consider myself a Baptist. But I also consider myself a part of the LGBTQ community, and I have never felt more in-tune with my faith,” Benton said.
For more information, view Baylor’s web page on the topic.