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07 Jul

Fifteen states plus the District of Columbia offer protections to gay and lesbian students, but they usually grant exemptions to religious institutions.

The first serious challenge to such policies came last summer, when the New England Association of Schools and Colleges asked Gordon College, a Christian school in Massachusetts, to review its ban on “homosexual practice” and determine whether it violated the association’s accreditation standards.

It was there that Zach Schneider, a former Cedarville student who is straight, began to change his mind about gay Christians.

At an off-campus event near Cedarville a while back, gay Christians held a Q-and-A session for anyone who wanted to talk openly about Christianity and homosexuality.

But these efforts often backfire, drawing even more attention toward a taboo subject.

Frank Lo Monte, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center, argues that evangelical-college administrators have been “slow learners” when it comes to addressing evolving viewpoints.

Meanwhile, it appears that some evangelical colleges are tentatively opening up to discussions about new LGBT policies. For example, Illinois’s Wheaton College, Billy Graham’s alma mater, recently hosted a spirited debate about the topic on campus.

The college’s chaplain’s office also hired Julie Rodgers, who has publicly called herself a “gay Christian” and argues that there’s no scriptural prohibition against seeking non-sexual intimacy with people of the same sex.