Editorial Supporting 'Gay Marriage' Offends Baylor Community

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:04 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - An editorial supporting same-sex marriage in the student newspaper has prompted "justifiable outrage" among alumni and students at Baylor University, the school's president said.

The Southern Baptist-affliated school said the editorial - published in The Lariat on Friday -- came "dangerously close" to violating school policy.

"It is important for Baylor constituents to know that this position held by five students does not reflect the views of the administration, faculty, staff, Board of Regents or Student Publications Board, which oversees the Lariat," Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. said in a statement released Monday.

"I would like to assure Baylor constituents that, while we respect the right of students to hold and express divergent viewpoints, we do not support the use of publications such as the Lariat , which is published by the University, to advocate positions that undermine foundational Christian principles upon which this institution was founded and currently operates," Sloan said.

The Feb. 27 Lariat staff editorial said San Francisco "should pursue [its] gay marriage suit" against the state of California.

"Taking into account equal protection under the law, gay couples should be granted the same equal rights to legal marriage as heterosexual couples," the editorial said.

In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Lariat editor Lacy Elwood said the editorial board was taking a legal stance -- not a religious or moral stance.

The editorial concluded, "Just as it isn't fair to discriminate against someone for their skin color, heritage or religious beliefs, it isn't fair to discriminate against someone for their sexual orientation. Shouldn't gay couples be allowed to enjoy the benefits and happiness of marriage, too?"

On Monday, Baylor's Student Publications Board said the editorial did in fact violate university policy. In a statement, the board said the Lariat staff had been told to avoid such errors in the future.

But Lariat Editor-in-Chief Lacy Elwood also issued a statement, saying the editorial board members "stand by our decision to address an issue at the forefront of national public debate."

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