Target: D. Michael Lindsay, President of Gordon College
Goal: Demand that a Christian college comply with an executive order banning employment discrimination against LGBT candidates
The president of a small conservative Christian college in Massachusetts has asked for an exemption from an upcoming executive order that would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Demand that Gordon College adhere to new federal regulations that protect the workplace rights of those in the LGBT community.
The president of Gordon College, along with 14 other religious leaders, said that the new executive order would “come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.” The first two cited consequences are ridiculously exaggerated, not to mention completely unfounded. And with the recent Hobby Lobby ruling, expanded definitions of “religious freedom” for institutions and corporations are now being used to justify taking away the religious freedoms and rights of others who are not in positions of power.
As a conservative Christian college, Gordon mandates such strict and antiquated rules such as bans on all sexual activity outside of marriage, drinking alcohol, and using profanity. Now Gordon wants to be able to skirt around federal law to maintain its discriminatory practices while continuing to receive federal funds for financial aid. Fortunately, the college’s actions have already faced backlash. The nearby city of Salem has ended a contract with the school that allowed it to use city-owned property, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges is undertaking a review of the college’s practices to decide whether to revoke its accreditation.
At the heart of this matter is whether the claimed religious freedom of an organization or corporation should exempt them from whichever federal laws they don’t want to comply with. Even more importantly, should a corporation or organization be able to claim a right to religious freedom that was heretofore reserved for individuals?
Sign the petition below to demand that Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay retract his support for employment discrimination against LGBT people.
Dear President Lindsay,
As an institution that receives federal funding, you are required to follow the laws and rulings of the federal government. Your individual right to religious freedom, which may dictate that you refrain from homosexual activity in your own life, does not translate to imposing your religious beliefs on others.
It is clear from the widespread backlash against your letter to President Obama that the students, staff, alumni, and community of Gordon College do not share your beliefs and do not wish for your strict interpretations of Christianity to infringe upon their rights or those of others who may seek employment at your college in the future.
Please recant your statements supporting employment discrimination against LGBT candidates and embrace the new executive order, which will foster a more diverse and inclusive community at Gordon College.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benson Kua via Flickr