WACO — Students at Baylor University recently presented a proposal to re-word the school’s conduct code to make sexual sins more equal.
The Baptist university’s current sexual misconduct policy specifically prohibits sexual activity outside of marriage and mandates that students and staff provide examples of purity.
“In all disciplinary procedures, Baylor University will seek to be redemptive in the lives of the individuals involved and to witness to the high moral standards of the Christian faith,” it states. “Baylor will be guided by the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from the creator God and that the purposes of this gift include (1) the procreation of human life and (2) the uniting and strengthening of the marital bond in self-giving love.”
“These purposes are to be achieved through heterosexual relationships within marriage,” the code continues. “Misuses of God’s gift will be understood to include, but not be limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication and homosexual acts.”
But some students at the university recently proposed to remove the term “homosexual acts” and replace it with “non-marital consensual deviate sexual intercourse” so as to make both homosexual and heterosexual fornication equal. Students also opined that they didn’t want to specifically “target” or “discriminate” against homosexuals, so they believed it would be best to declare that all sex outside of God’s plan for marriage is wrong.
“It is not saying that Baylor is okay with homosexuality or that students will all of a sudden be more welcoming,” sophomore Jailyn Parnell told the student newspaper, the Baylor Lariat. “It is saying that we are not going to pinpoint homosexuals. It is saying that homosexual acts are wrong, but heterosexual acts committed outside of marriage are also wrong. It is making it more equal.”
The proposal, called the Sexual Misconduct Code Non-Discrimination Act, was recently put up for debate by students and received mixed reaction. Some students stated that making sexual sins equal in the policy would create a more loving environment on campus.
“Are you protected? Do we care for you? Do we reach out to you with Christ’s love? At this point, no,” said senior Grant Settler. “What I think this bill does is take a step towards a more caring, Jesus-loving community.”
But others stated that the policy should still specifically mention homosexuality in order to reflect the Biblical beliefs of the university.
“[T]he fact is, Baylor and many students believe that homosexuality is wrong,” remarked senior Stephen Bell. “The conduct code should say that if they are going to have a conduct code at all.”
According to reports, there are a number of homosexual students who attend Baylor University and some meet in a group called the “Sexual Identity Forum.” However, university officials have refused to grant the group recognition.
On Wednesday, two days after the student senate approved the Act, student body president Wesley Hodges vetoed the proposal, stating that it was best that the policy remained as written since the university as a whole was not able to provide input.
“My veto was an action of love and care for the university and our students,” Hodges said. “I understand that human sexuality is a topic that is very important to our student body and I do not want to limit our conversations on this topic. I deeply respect our students and their respective views. I just want to make sure that whatever is represented in the student government is an accurate representation of the majority of students and seeks to further the mission to protect our students.”
The student senate then called a second vote in an attempt to override Hodges’ veto, but were unsuccessful in obtaining the required two-thirds majority.