The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
SPUís policy sure to stir controversy
Published: November 14 2012
The approval of Referendum 74, which legalized same-sex marriage in Washington, will undoubtedly have profound implications on our state-wide, local and Seattle Pacific culture.
R74 was approved by approximately 53 percent of Washington voters, compared to the 46 percent who voted to reject it.
Washington is also not unique in its approval of same-sex marriage. Nine other states, and Washington, D.C., have legalized gay marriage in the past decade. This year also marked the first instances in which gay marriage has been successful when subjected to a public vote.
Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire called the same-sex approvals in Washington, Maryland and Maine a ďreal sea change moment.Ē
While this tide is turning in the greater political climate, the rules are still the same here at SPU.
The stage is set for a confrontation between the values represented in SPUís Statement on Human Sexuality and those of the greater community Ė western Washington in particular.
Homosexual activities currently merit disciplinary action by SPU, as per the schoolís Lifestyle Expectations.
The Statement on Human Sexuality does not reference any secular authorities as the basis for its stance, citing the schoolís ancient and historic religious tradition as well as the greater Christian Church.
So R74 is by no means a mandate for action by this private university. Thatís not the drum-beat that SPU marches to.
But the question remains: what will it cost the school to maintain their stance, and what will it cost the school to change it?
In its position relative to everyone else, SPU will become increasingly conservative as more and more Americans and Washingtonians disagree with the school on the subject.
This growing dichotomy between recent political developments and the more conservative elements of SPUís foundation is bound to stir controversy in years to come.
This isnít to pick sides or protest SPUís stance. Itís also important not to overstate the importance of gay marriage as an indicator of where a party might stand on a number of social issues.
Being progressive or conservative isnít a one-dimensional thing that can be located on a spectrum. But SPUís image is sure to change, especially juxtaposed against a city in which traditional values about sex and marriage are shifting.
The editorial comment is composed by the editor-in-chief, opinion editor and two other editors each quarter.
Staff members responsible for the editorial occupy the top four slots in the staff box to the left. News and assistant news editors are never involved in composing the editorial comment.
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