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University student senate rejects group over Christian beliefs

Duke University’s student government senate denied recognition to a Christian group because of its policy that does not allow LGBT members to be on the leadership team.

Members of the student senate had concerns about Young Life’s policy. The senate discussed about how this requirement could discourage LGBT people from joining the club and voted to deny the group’s recognition.

The group’s sexual misconduct policy says that “we do not in any way wish to exclude persons who engage in sexual misconduct or who practice a homosexual lifestyle from being recipients of ministry of God’s grace and mercy as expressed in Jesus Christ. We do, however, believe that such persons are not to serve as staff or volunteers in the mission and work of Young Life.” According to the group’s website, Young Life’s mission is “introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith”.

Rachel Baber, a Young-Life leader for Durham-Chapel Hill, said that the organization does have an “anti-discrimination clause” and will not stop LGBT people from joining the organization. Jeff Bennett, a student at the Duke Divinity School and Young Life member, said that the organization cannot make policies that contradict those of its national organization.

Baber told Campus Reform that ‘Young Life’ does not plan on appealing the student government’s decision.