Non-profit Milligan alumni group requests university officials to change policies regarding LGBTQ people
Non-profit group Milligan for All has sent a letter to Milligan University officials asking for them to change their policies regarding LGBTQ people.
The alumni group is requesting Milligan’s Board of Trustees remove the school’s statement concerning human sexuality, as well as protect students, faculty, and staff from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and form a task force to review current university policies in these areas.
Allegations previously surfaced that the school forced the resignation of a gay professor. The group is requesting Milligan respond to them by April 23.
The letter is published below:
First, to the LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff of Milligan and Emmanuel:
Without equivocation, we fully affirm your inherent worth and dignity, and that you are beloved children of God, with each and every part of you, including your gender identity and sexuality, reflecting the Divine image. As members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies, we stand in solidarity with you. We pledge our support to you and commit to diligently work toward making the university a safe and welcoming place for all, no matter their gender identity or expression, or their sexual orientation. We further pledge ourselves to work that ensures that the university is free from all forms of discrimination.
Second, to the university’s administration and board of trustees:
As students, we were taught to think critically and in community about faith, and about the truth of God’s wide, welcoming love for all creation. Recent events have revealed a disparity between these commitments and institutional policy. We are grieved to know that Milligan is a place where harm is perpetrated in God’s name on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. We are further alarmed by the disingenuous character of the university’s moderated “Critical Conversations.” We pledge to work with you to ensure that Milligan’s institutional policies and practices respect every one of God’s beloved children and honor all loving relationships of mutuality, which are a gift from God. We passionately believe that such commitments are essential to help Milligan live into its ideals and into the kind of unity amidst diversity that lies at the heart of the school’s heritage of faith. To that end, we ask that the Board of Trustees respond to the following requests:
We request that the Board of Trustees respond to this letter and our requests, by way of an official statement to the MU Community.
We request that the Board of Trustees remove the Statement Concerning Human Sexuality from use and publication and amend all other publications referencing this document.
We request that the Board of Trustees end the current limits on employment, student and employee, as they relate to human sexuality.
We request that the Board of Trustees amend MU’s non-discrimination language to include the protection of employment, student and employee, on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, and marital status.
We request that the Board of Trustees develop and empower a task force, comprised of diverse Milligan students, faculty, staff, and alumni to review current campus practices and policies that may discriminate or denigrate individuals, student or employee, on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, and marital status. This task force should also be empowered to draft recommended alterations and proposals.
We request that the Board of Trustees develop and begin an inclusive process of reconciliation where our community can adequately grieve, be heard, repent, and begin the ongoing process of healing this wound and engaging with this important aspect of human flourishing.
Finally, to the wider university community, donors, constituent churches, and our alumni peers:
We invite you to graceful engagement in this conversation, to listen and consider the wounds our LGBTQ+ siblings experience each day, to discern your role in the university’s ongoing story, and to stand with us. We pledge, with your help, to make Milligan a place where all of God’s beloved children might experience the transformative education and community that so many of us hold dear.
With gratitude and hope,
MilliganforAll Board of Directors:
Jessica Carter (B.S., 2004; Student Life Staff, 2005-2009)
Casey Lawhon Wagner (B.S., 2002)
The Rev. Dr. Wes Jamison, OCC, D.Min., (B.A., 2001; M.Div., 2005)
George Keralis, CPA (B.S., 2000)
Jonathan Hall (B.A., 2003)
Rev. Richard Voelz, Ph.D., (B.A., 2001; M.Div., 2005)
Dr. Andrew Parker, Ph.D. (B.A., 2002; Admissions Staff, 2005-2006)
Nathan Flora (B.A., 1998; M.Div., 2002; Student Life Staff, 1999-2010)
Photo Courtesy: Milligan For All Logo