It is interesting how sexual orientation continues to dictate one’s fate and opportunities in life. According to an article on the Fox News website, Shorter University in Georgia, a private Christian university, is forcing all of its existing employees to fill out and sign a “Personal lifestyle statement” which will disclose their sexual preferences, and force them to “Reject pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexuality or risk getting fired.”
As an immigrant, the U.S. has always been a symbol of liberalism for me, and in many ways it still is. Therefore, I find it very hard to believe that such blatant discriminatory practices still take place in a country that so strongly and openly advocates the opposite. The school’s principle, Don Dowless says in response to the shocked media: “I think that anybody who adheres to a lifestyle that is outside of what the Biblical mandate is—what the board has passed, including the president—would not be allowed to continue here.”
The worst part of this story is that it is absolutely legal because Shorter is a private university that does not receive government funding. Apparently, according to an online legal encyclopedia, “An executive order specifically outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal government, but no federal law prohibits this type of discrimination in private employment.” As it turns out, state laws that prohibit this type of discrimination in private employment exist, but only in less than half of U.S. states. Unfortunately, Georgia is not one of them. Knowing this, Don Dowless and others like him, can continue to spread their backwardness and discriminate against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation, without facing legal charges. So, perhaps there’s no cost to the discrimination against their employees, but I wonder if they would be willing to lose funding by using the same protocol with students-all in the name of religion.