The emergence of a secret lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group at a small evangelical university in California is shaking up both the student body and faculty members.
As MSNBC is reporting, a group of Biola University students announced the presence of the "Biola Queer Underground" on the same day that President Obama announced his endorsement of same-sex marriage.
All members of the clandestine group remain anonymous, but that didn't stop them from reportedly posting flyers around the Biola University campus which read: "We want to bring to light the presence of the LGBTQ community at Biola. Despite what some may assume, there are Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Queers at Biola. We are Biola's students, alumni, employees, and fellow followers of Christ. We want to be treated with equality and respected as another facet of Biola's diversity." An official website has also been launched.
Like many schools rooted in evangelical Christianity, Biola has a code of standards that includes prohibitions on sex outside of marriage and same-sex relationships, according to MSNBC.
Though Biola officials stated that no repercussions would be taken for students who simply hold a view contrary to the school’s teachings, university president Barry Corey nonetheless issued a statement which read, "God’s design for marriage and sexuality is the foundational reason for viewing acts of sexual intimacy between a man and a woman outside of marriage, and any act of sexual intimacy between two persons of the same sex, as illegitimate moral options for the confessing Christian," according to CBS.
Corey touched on the subject once again in a "family discussion" May 18, according to Biola's website. "I'm here today to say, though this may be hard for some to believe, that we all stand together as persons created in God’s image, and we all kneel together as broken persons who need God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ," he is quoted as saying. He promised additional, "wide-ranging" conversation on the matter: "In the coming year, we’ll be having intentional moments to discuss and be educated on all matters of sexual identity."
Biola Queer Underground members didn't seem satisfied with the response. On their website, they noted: "Biola claims to want a dialogue...Without inviting Christians speakers who have a different view of homosexuality, fruitful dialogue will not happen. In the past, your monologues on homosexuality have not been good or fair to us."