We are Baylor family members who affirm that all
Baylor students should be treated with equal dignity and
respect, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Our Faith Does Not Discriminate.
Baylor University continues to violate Title IX
with its ongoing institutional discrimination against
LGBTQ+ students. We have pressed our concerns on the
Board of Regents and informed NCAA and the Big 12 officials
about the University's violation of the letter and spirit of Title IX.
Watch our video below on Title IX protections for all students.
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Waco Tribune | Kyle Desrosiers | August 3, 2019
Over the past few months, thousands of people connected to Baylor University have called on Baylor’s leadership to reverse policies that deprive LGBTQ students of official recognition, protection and inclusion. Calls for change intensified this past spring after Baylor officials permitted flyers with inflammatory images aimed at LGBTQ people to be posted throughout campus while, at the same time, depriving LGBTQ students of any campus resources, official student organizations or support systems.
With the fall semester on the horizon, many Baylor students such as myself waited in eager anticipation as the Baylor Board of Regents met in Dallas last month at its annual retreat. In light of continued scrutiny regarding Baylor’s Title IX compliance and with a groundswell of alumni, students, faculty and faith leaders calling on the university to stop discriminating against LGBTQ students, would Baylor University’s leadership finally scuttle its discriminatory policies? Would it — as a group of Baylor students requested earlier this summer — at a minimum issue a statement denouncing conversion or reparative therapy on its campus?
Sadly, the answer turned out to be a resounding “no.” read more…
Today’s Featured Article:
Waco Tribune | Rhiannon Saegert | August 2, 2019
Baylor students have written letters to both the Big 12 Conference and the NCAA, asking the organizations to evaluate the university’s treatment of LGBTQ students.
“We write to you as current LGBTQ+ and allied Baylor University students and recent graduates who have been engaged in efforts to ensure that Baylor University’s campus is safe, secure, and hospitable to LGBTQ+ students,” both letters begin.
The authors of the letters include members of Gamma Alpha Upsilon, an unofficial student group that has been seeking recognition from the university since last year, as well as other current students and recent graduates.
“In recent months, LGBTQ+ students have faced particular targeting and harassment on Baylor’s campus, leading thousands of people with connections to Baylor University — alumni, students, parents, current and former faculty members, former trustees, ministers, and faith leaders — to ask that the university reverse its course of discrimination against LGBTQ+ students,” the letters state. read more…
Ethics Daily | Madeline Sneed | July 11, 2019
The Baylor University community is divided over inclusion for LGBTQ+ students on campus.
Two petitions have come out of the conflict: one favors preserving Baylor’s nonaffirming stance of LGBTQ student groups with 110 signatures; the other asks Baylor to recognize LGBTQ student groups and to allow them to meet on campus with more than 3,200 signatures.
In response to the outpouring of support from the Baylor community for LGBTQ students, the Texas Tribune reported that Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president for media and public relations, said “the 3,200 signatures represent about 2% of the school’s students, faculty, staff and living alumni.” read more…
Alivia Stehlik, guest columnist: Baylor University should allow students to be public about identities
Waco Tribune | Alivia Stehlik | July 8, 2019
When I was first accepted into the US Army – Baylor University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, it didn’t really matter to me that my degree would be from Baylor. I was more concerned about staying in the Army and caring for soldiers. However, over the last three years, far more people have asked me about being a Baylor Bear than about being a cadet at West Point.
Now, I’m proud of being a Baylor alumna, even waking up in the wee hours of the morning or staying up late into the night in Afghanistan to watch Baylor play. I’m grateful for the conversations it has started and the friendships it has granted with a host of intelligent, driven, passionate, caring people whom I otherwise would not have met. read more…
Baylor students are trying to secure the LGBTQ support I wish I had when I was a student there
The Salve | Madeline Kay Sneed | July 1, 2019
I’m not sure what to say when people ask me about God.
It’s not a common conversation, especially on the East Coast, where I now live. The subject rarely comes up. When some people find out I went to Baylor University, the largest Baptist university in the world, they make their assumptions about my faith. When they find out I’m a lesbian, their assumptions are undone and replaced with another about my absence of faith.
To be from Texas, to be a lesbian, to be a Christian; it’s too contradictory, too confusing. The Baptist schools I went to never made an effort to question this notion of contradiction. If you’re a Christian, you’re saved. If you’re queer, you’re damned.
Recently, more than 3,000 Baylor University alumni, students, and faculty signed a petition in support of Gamma Alpha Upsilon, an LGBTQ+ student group at the university. The university has consistently denied the group official recognition because of Baylor’s human sexuality statement, which says, in part, that “Temptations to deviate from this [biblical] norm include both heterosexual sex outside of marriage and homosexual behavior. It is thus expected that Baylor students will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.” read more…
Newsweek | Jenni Fink | June 26, 2019
Students and alumni at Baylor University are fighting for recognition of a student-run LGBTQ+ organization, which they argue would provide opportunities to challenge world views in an academic space and therefore strengthen students' individual beliefs.
Located in Waco, Texas, the private Christian college aims to provide students with an elite academic and religious education. In 2011, students founded the "official unofficial gay club," now called Gamma Alpha Upsilon, and for years, their charter requests were denied. The rejections haven't squelched the group's mission, though. Now, students, alumni and faculty are once again pursuing official status with vigor.
Baylor isn't the only campus to see students forming united fronts to enact changes to the status quo of their institutions. Students at Brigham Young University, a private school in Utah founded by the Mormon Church, spoke out earlier this year about their negative experiences with the institution's Honor Code Office and advocated for reforms. read more…
The Texas Tribune | Shannon Najmabadi | June 26, 2019
The Baptist university has denied a charter to Gamma Alpha Upsilon for eight years, members say.
Gay and lesbian students were hopeful a 2015 policy change could pave their way to more rights at Baylor University, one of the country’s most prominent Baptist colleges.
But four years later, LGBTQ students at the Waco school say they’re still waiting for that recognition to arrive.
Although Baylor eliminated language from its conduct code that characterized “homosexual acts” as “misuses of God’s gift,” LGBTQ students say they remain marginalized — unable to form student groups and barred from accessing student activity funds or reserving campus space for meetings. Baylor has denied a charter to one LGBTQ organization — now called Gamma Alpha Upsilon, or GAY in Greek letters — for eight years, according to the group’s members. read more…
Waco Tribune | Rhiannon Saegert | June 22, 2019
Baylor LGBTQ student group seeks to address regents as alumni advocates organize
Though it is summer and the Baylor University campus is quiet, conversations about inclusion continue.
Gamma Alpha Upsilon, an unaffiliated student group that has applied for a charter as an official Baylor student organization, recently wrote a letter to the Baylor Board of Regents asking it to step in on the group’s behalf. Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said the requests of the regents are still being considered, and the university has no statement at this time.
Hayden Evans, an officer with the group, wrote the letter. read more…
Ethics Daily | Rev. Dr. Richard Groves | June 6, 2019
“My how things have changed!” said Lia Scholl, pastor of Wake Forest Baptist Church, a congregation that has made its home on the campus of Wake Forest University since 1956.
In March, the church ordained Erica Saunders, a third-year student at Wake Forest Divinity School.
What raised eyebrows in some Baptist circles and blood pressure in others was not that the newly ordained minister was a woman; it was that Saunders was one of the first openly transgender persons to be ordained by a Baptist church.
“Erica is a student at Wake Divinity,” Scholl told Bob Allen, news editor at Baptist News Global, “and has the support of the office of diversity and the LGBTQ Center.”
There was no LGBTQ Center in 2000 when a controversial same-sex ceremony of union – we didn’t call it a wedding in those days because same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in any country in the world – took place on campus in the university’s iconic Wait Chapel.
As pastor of Wake Forest Baptist Church at the time, I participated along with several clergy persons, one of whom was later tried for heresy by his denomination.
The university opposed the ceremony and initially prohibited it. read more…
Waco Tribune | Will Ward | May 28, 2019
Since 1854 when Baylor University bestowed its first diploma on a graduate in Independence, Texas, the university has held commencement ceremonies, awarding degrees and diplomas to students who have successfully completed their studies. Being a school in the Baptist tradition, it has long been a ceremonial tradition for a person who has a special relationship to a graduate to pray. There was nothing new about this year’s ceremony when Rev. Dan Freemyer, whose son was graduating that day, walked up to the lectern to pray. What was different is that, in the aftermath of his prayer, writers for certain self-described conservative media outlets publicly criticized the prayer, leading some people to call Baylor University and other Baptist institutions to angrily complain. This complaining group was so convicted in their anger that the university’s leadership has found it appropriate to engage in some level of damage control and to distance itself from the prayer. read more…
News | Hal Wingo | June 1, 2019
Once again my alma mater, Baylor University, has stepped into administrative and theological quicksand, this time by refusing to recognize a small group of LGBTQ students as a legitimate campus organization.
As a former regent of the university for nine years, I feel personally obligated to call that decision precisely what it is: institutional sexual discrimination, pure and simple, and it must not be allowed to stand.
These lesbian, gay, bi or transgender students have seen more than enough discrimination in their young lives, and they were seeking from Baylor only a sanctioned, safe place on campus to freely assemble, share their experiences and offer support to each other.
What they got from the administration made clear that Baylor, unsurprisingly, would have none of it. President Linda Livingstone quickly rejected their petition with a reminder of the Baylor code of conduct, that the university is "guided by the Biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity." read more…
Paige Hardy graduated from Baylor with a religion and journalism major last week. In Ethics Daily, she writes about her experience as a sexual assault survivor and now as an advocate and ally for LGBTQ+ inclusion at Baylor and how the two experiences are related. Read her article here: