Equality tour visits Union College
The Equality Tour stopped at Union College on Wednesday to talk about making a safe environment for students of all sexual orientations.
Colin Daniels is part of the Soulforce Equality Ride. His mom went to Union College and raised him Seventh Day Adventist. He was on that campus Wednesday preaching about making room on campus for students who are gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. He says, “I believe there is a space to talk about the intersection of faith and sexuality and on Christian campuses it's needed because of the policies in place that create an awful culture of silence.”
They're policies Union College President Dave Smith explains are deeply rooted in the Christian college's beliefs. “If a student declares a sexual orientation on campus, there is nothing that prohibits that. If they act on that sexual orientation and it leads to same sex relations, there is discipline or council that follows.”
The Soulforce mission is to make safe places on Christian campuses for students with questions about sexuality. They talked with administrators and had round table discussions with students like Jared Henry. Henry says, “we're also called to love each other, so while I might not support it, I can't just condemn them.”
As the equality ride loaded back on the bus, Daniels said this stop showed him that students want to learn more about making a safe environment for everyone. “The discussion blew me away.”
President Smith says, “Today maybe changed our heads as far as understanding. Our hearts are open.”
Originally when Soulforce contacted Union College, the college asked them not to come. The tour said they'd be stopping by anyway, so President Smith decided to treat it as a learning experience for students.