Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix said last week it urges compassion amid issues raised by the recent U.S. legalization of same-sex marriages.
GCU issued the statement after recently extending employee benefits to partners in same-sex marriages.
“GCU is making a conscious choice to maintain its religious beliefs while respecting and honoring its neighbors, as well as the system of government and laws that exist today, by extending employee benefits to spouses of lawfully married same-sex couples,” GSU said. “To be clear, though, the university’s decision in this instance, and the recent changes, or any future changes, in the government’s definition of marriage, do not, and will not, change GCU’s sincerely held religious belief that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman.”
GCU said it does not ask visitors or community members about their religion or sexual orientation and will comply with federal law regardless of individually or institutionally held religious beliefs
“The university’s decision to extend benefits has been made freely and without compulsion by the state ... as a way of demonstrating grace and compassion toward individuals and families that are affected by our decision," GSU said. "This decision should be interpreted as an act of good faith toward employees and their families whom the university does not view as pawns in the current cultural conflict. Rather, they are human beings who are … worthy of the same value and dignity that we extend to others regardless of their personal values and convictions.”
GCU said that it is the institution’s hope as a Christian university to welcome and encourage open discussion.
“GCU strives to present and practice the Christian faith … but we renounce all forms of coercion in matters of faith and conscience,” the university said.
GCU urged respectful dialog and charity especially in spiritual and moral matters.
“We simply ask that others extend similar consideration to GCU in order to facilitate continued partnership with the government and its citizens,” GCU said.