Statement From President Robert B. Sloan Jr. Regarding Baylor Lariat Editorial On Gay Marriage

March 1, 2004

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. released the following statement today, regarding a Feb. 27 editorial in The Lariat, Baylor's student newspaper, on gay marriage:

Baylor University's student newspaper, the Baylor Lariat, last Friday published an editorial supporting the City of San Francisco's lawsuit against the State of California to declare unconstitutional sections of the California Family Code defining marriage as a union of a man and woman. By a 5-2 vote, the student editorial board opined that, taking into account equal protection under the law, gay couples should be granted the same equal rights to legal marriage as heterosexual couples.

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. Nor do I believe this stance on gay marriage is shared by the vast majority of Baylor's 14,000 students and 100,000 alumni.

We have already heard from a number of students, alumni and parents who are, as am I, justifiably outraged over this editorial. Espousing in a Baylor publication a view that is so out of touch with traditional Christian teachings is not only unwelcome, it comes dangerously close to violating University policy, as published in the Student Handbook, prohibiting the advocacy of any understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching. The Student Publications Board will be addressing this matter with the Lariat staff as soon as possible.

In the meantime, 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.

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