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Pepperdine Refuses to Recognize LGBT Group

The dean of students says the decision was made to honor "the biblical conviction that sexual activity should be reserved for a husband-wife relationship."

The  administration recently decided not to recognize the self-proclaimed "gay-straight alliance" group Reach OUT as an official university club. The decision has led to the creation of a petition demanding the administration reverse its decision.

The story was first reported in the Graphic, the Malibu university's student-run newspaper. The publication reported that Pepperdine Dean of Students Mark Davis said the decision was made to honor "the biblical conviction that sexual activity should be reserved for a husband-wife relationship."

"Pepperdine seeks to be faithful to this teaching because we believe it is God's will, and therefore we cannot endorse another view or take a neutral position on sexual morality." said Davis, according to the newspaper. "Although Reach OUT stated in its application that it has no position on sexual activity, we do not believe it is possible for an LGBT student organization to maintain a neutral position."

The petition in favor of the group was started on the website Change.org, and has garnered more than 4,600 electronic signatures as of Wednesday morning. Anyone can sign the petition.

The petition states, "Pepperdine students often struggle to be honest about their sexual orientation because they fear rejection from their peers as well as the risk of losing their scholarships and leadership opportunities. Moreover, professors do not feel comfortable speaking on the issue, worrying that they will be denied tenure or research grants."

The petition calls for the university administration to "rescind its previous decision and instead grant equal recognition to LGBT students by approving Reach OUT's application."

Pepperdine's main campus is located on Pacific Coast Highway off Malibu Canyon Road, but it is not part of the city of Malibu. The university was not included in the map when voters approved cityhood in 1990 and it does not use the 90265 ZIP Code as the city and other unincorporated parts of Malibu do.

Aleisha Hicks January 25, 2012 at 08:11 PM
As Pepperdine Alumni, I am proud of the school for taking a stand. It often feels like they get wrapped up in the money, politics and prestige common for that area. Good for them for standing true to their founding principles.
Joseph Delano January 25, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Second that!! OUTSTANDING decision and Pepperdine's courage in face of predictable liberal whining is to be applauded. Enough of this wishy washy PC crap! Bout time someone stood up for what they believe in without thought to what others may "think." (or what passes for 'thinking')
ian c. January 25, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I find this particularly disturbing. Its a stance based on eroding ground. Shrouding oneself in religiousity is hardly a defense to unfettered hate. Bearing false witness is a commandment one Pepperdine and a few of its "illustrious" alumni break. What happened to the teachings of Christ re: love, acceptance, and the golden rule! Hate sows the seeds if its own destruction. I am particularly glad i turned down this institution when i went to school.
Melonie Magruder January 26, 2012 at 01:49 AM
What about Jewish or Muslim or atheists LGBT students, Dean Davis? They don't adhere to Biblical law anyway!
ruben January 26, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Is it true that students have to sign a paper about sexual morality. If this is true, why would you attend Pepperdine if you have no sexual morals?
JBB January 26, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Pepperdine has every right to do as they see fit. How people can construe not recognizing a club as "unfettered hate" shows the shallowness of the arguement. Is there a heterosexual club?? Why don't we just keep peoples sexual preferences out of our colleges and universities? Equal rights does not mean special rights.
JBB January 26, 2012 at 05:51 PM
What? Have you heard of the Old Testament and the Koran? Muslims don't even aknowledge gay people exist. Ask Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
J. Flo January 26, 2012 at 07:37 PM
My beautiful niece at the age of 18 fought for and risked her life for the USA in the Iraq war, she was stationed in Baghdad. She is now in college. She also happens to be a Christian, and also happens to be gay. She certainly deserves, as does every child in this country, to feel welcomed at any college of her choice in the United States of America - she fought for. Pepperdine offers 50 clubs for it's students. For Latinos, Asians, Dancers, Athletes, Business students, Democrats, Actors, Women, Republicans, Artists, African Americans, Military, Koreans, Accountants, Japanese and on and on it goes. They can certainly fit in one more club for those kids of all races, of every single religion, of all hobbies and majors - LGBT'S who need the support as much if not more than anyone else. Enough of our children are dying in this country solely because of their sexual orientation. Religion is supposed to define compassion and love . . .and so very often unfortunately as clearly in this case it does not. In fact represents the opposite. For shame. The school may have the right but it is WRONG. Homophobia = one of the last (and grasping) bastions of bigotry. It is quickly and finally, thank God, becoming a dinosaur.
Paul Grisanti January 26, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Religious freedom requires that Pepperdine be allowed to promote the values it was created to promote. If you don't like their belief system there are many other Universities that will be glad to accept your tuition and contributions.
J. Flo January 26, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Are they allowed to exclude Asians? Handicapped? Latinos? Why not - what if that's their religious teaching? White's Only - a few decades ago that was considered "religious freedom". Is that OK, too? The world continues to change as civil rights are fought for - and won.
JBB January 26, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Tired arguement, Apples and oranges. since when was "White's Only" a religious freedom?? It was the people of faith and churches who fought for equal rights for minorities.
T Averill January 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I am an alumni of this school and believed it was only loosely associated with a church -- it was never emphasized during my time there. If I had known it was this fundamentalist I WOULD NOT have attended. This is eye opening for me, I will not send my children there though it is close to my home. I do not endorse HATE in any form and will no longer be proud that I am from this school.
Faye Spencer January 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM
What a disappointment this is. I have always thought of Pepperdine as a sort of fancy business school, not some bastion of outdated nonsense about founding creed used to cover-up a homophobic prejudice that certainly has no place in an institution of higher learning. Does the science department also teach creationism? Seems to me as though this school belongs back with Moses and the dinosaurs.
J. Flo January 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM
You certainly don't know your history! Slave ownership and racial bigotry at that time was absolutely backed by religious groups and scriptures from the Bible. "Slave owning southerners justified slavery by using the bible, and interpreting scripture or divine right to do so". As were other civil right fights such as not allowing women to vote. And now again it is churches who are promoting outright bigotry against children born with different sexual orientations - and using select bible verses to justify their harmful actions. Civil rights will - and is prevailing. This tired and outdated thinking is over and will go down in the history books as yet another example of religious bigotry. There is no stopping this march forward for the equality of every human in the USA . . . beautifully so! It is Ian's generation who is winning this right. Bravo!
Barrie Livingstone January 27, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Huge shame and big embarrassment for the NAZI'S over at Pepperdine University. How dare you not allow the GLBT students to have their club and say that sex is between man and woman that is married. Are you going to fire all the divorced faculty members and let go any student that was a product of divorce. Please Pepperdine, get with the new century and stop discriminating so disgustingly and blatantly. I say Malibu Residents "BOYCOTT anything PEPPERDINE". and besides they are messing with the entire Malibu water ecosystem watering that 300 acre lawn and ruining malibu road and poisoning our beaches killing seals and birds. where did Jesus say that Pepperdine has the right to do this in the bible. please show me what page its on cos i sure missed that. This is not a sex club it is students for socializing and Faye Spencer and T Averill be ashamed of yourselves for allowing blatant discrimination
Barrie Livingstone January 27, 2012 at 04:45 AM
J. Flora-Katz i love you and i wish there was more of you on this planet
Barrie Livingstone January 27, 2012 at 04:47 AM
isnt one of your kids gay?
Barrie Livingstone January 27, 2012 at 04:48 AM
founding principles of inciting hatred is not something to be proud of. shame on you and your small mind
Barrie Livingstone January 27, 2012 at 04:52 AM
shame on you Joseph delano for inciting hatred get real and stop hating you poor pathetic soul
J. Flo January 27, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Thank you Barrie, there are a lot of us on the planet and growing everyday as people realize that in almost every family is someone they love who has a different sexual orientation. When our VP's, Dick Cheney's, daughter married and had a baby with her same-sex partner - the world tipped and it will never tip back. Best to you!
Jamie Ottilie January 28, 2012 at 05:52 AM
I am a Pepperdine Alumni and this issue illustrates the disconnect between the school and many of it's students. They present themselves as a school devoted to non denominational Christian beliefs but in truth are a school based in the Church of Christ - one of the most conservative Christian groups in the country. For example: freshman year (1988) was the first time the school held a dance because it was against church of Christ teachings to dance. They are an excellent Academic school that many (myself included) attend without being aware of their socio/political agenda. They fail their students on a regular basis by hiding behind 'Christian beliefs' rather then dealing with real world issues. During my years at Pepperdine - I think it is safe to say that at least 90% of the student body was sexual active and not married. It was also well known that there was a large population of gay and lesbian students attending - many of them struggling to resolve their Christian upbringing with their emerging sexuality. Denying this club is another example of the school's administration putting their political agenda ahead of the well being of it's students. Having a support system at the school to help the gay and lesbian students resolve their religious beliefs and their sexuality in a healthy way would be nothing but beneficial for all involved.

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