A university in the US state of Georgia is forcing its 200 employees to sign a statement declaring that they reject homosexuality.
Atlanta’s WSBTV news reports that employees at Shorter University, a Christian Baptist school, who sign the ‘personal lifestyle pledge’ must also reject premarital sex and adultery, and other behaviour the school deems to violate the Bible’s teachings. Anyone who doesn’t sign the pledge is at risk of losing their jobs.
The pledge also requires employees to be active in local churches.
The lifestyle statement was adopted by the school’s board of trustees last month and presented to employees three days later, on October 24.
All new employees will have to sign the pledge upon being hired, and all current employees will have to sign it in order to renew their contract. The pledge notifies employees that they can be fired for violating the new policy.
“We now will live in fear that someone who doesn’t like us personally or someone who has had a bad day will report that we’ve been drinking or that we are suspected of being gay,” an anonymous employee told gay newspaper, Georgia Voice.
“There is no defined process and even if there were, there is no way to absolutely prove or disprove the accusation.”
Shorter president Don Dowless told WSBTV that the goal wasn’t to offend people, and that lots of Christian schools have similar pledges.
“These are biblical positions,” he said.
School officials said that since the school doesn’t receive federal funding, it believes its actions are perfectly legal.
In Victoria this year, the Baillieu Government passed the controversial Equal Opportunity Amendment Bill which made easier for religious organisations to discriminate against LGBT people.
The new bill reversed the former Brumby Government’s legislation — due to come into effect in August — which included an inherent requirements test provision requiring religious bodies to establish that their ability to discriminate for a particular job was an ‘inherent requirement’ for the role.