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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.

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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