When it comes to LGBTQ relationships on campus, though, Azusa Pacific University has a more explicit policy: “Students may not engage in a romanticized same-sex relationship,” the code of conduct states.
The consequences aren’t clear, but APU’s policy has long instilled fear in students.
Zabrina Zablan, a 2016 graduate, said that after the university received a complaint about her relationship with another woman, officials gave her two options: Break up, or lose her position as president of an ethnic student organization and forfeit her pending scholarship.
The 24-year-old Pasadena resident chose to end the relationship, a decision she said led to declining grades and poor choices. The couple eventually reunited, she said, but the damage was done. “I wanted nothing to do with the university at that point. I felt so hurt. The rug was just pulled out from under me, and I was shattered.”
Zablan’s partner, Ipolani Duvauchelle, 27, doubts that Azusa Pacific is ready to make a change.
“Until there is queer leadership who are in charge of implementing policy, there will never be a sustainable change,” said Duvauchelle, a social worker.
Erin Green, a recent APU graduate who said she was asked by administrators to share her experience as a lesbian and consult on changes in policy, said she feels betrayed by the university. College leaders initially indicated to Green that the ban on same-sex relationships on campus was harmful to students and that they wanted to make changes, she said.
She said the university’s chaplain, Kevin Mannoia, told her in May the ban would be removed. The board had plenty of time to be advised of that action, she said.
Mannoia, however, said in an email that while plans were in place to create a ministry program for LGBTQ students, a change in the policy was never promised.
“I feel totally betrayed and exploited,” said Green, 37, the co-executive director of Christian student advocacy group Brave Commons. “They asked me to relive my trauma. We feel violated.”
Read the whole thing. It’s a long story, with plenty of comments about the feelings of LGBT students … but nothing about why Azusa Pacific and other Christian colleges have these policies in place. The framing is entirely about mean, bigoted Christian colleges, driven by “conservative media” — like me — inflicting pain on queer people, and giving the finger to modernity.
I know that “liberal media gets Christianity wrong, treats Christians unfairly” is an evergreen story, but this stuff really does matter. Millions of people who will never hear a Christian argument for tradition will assume, from reading stories like this, that there are no arguments. That holding to Biblical tradition is nothing but bigotry. It’s not right for traditional Christians to insist that only our side of the story is told. But it’s right and it’s necessary that we insist that at least our side of the story is told.
Major media like the Los Angeles Times are manufacturing the marginalization and, ultimately, the demonization, of traditional Christians, Jews, and Muslims. It’s been happening for a while, and will continue to happen — indeed, will get worse. Prepare.