LGBTQ students at Azusa Pacific University, a Christian private school in Southern California, now demand that the school end its support of traditional marriage and its disapproval of same-sex relationships on campus; basically, end their support of biblical morality.
According to The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the demands come as a result of a deeply unfortunate allegation of harassment on behalf of Mahesh Pradhan, a line cook at the school who claims to have faced verbal abuse and harassment by students and employees.
“There have been moments where I used to walk on eggshells just being on campus,” said Pradhan. “I told them that I am not gay, but what’s wrong with being gay or being straight? Why do you need to label people?”
Pradhan is now suing Azusa Pacific for the abuse, wrongful demotion and infliction of emotional distress. All allegations have been denied by the university, according to APU spokeswoman Rachel White.
“We value and respect our employees and we do not condone harassment,” White said. “It’s completely against who we are as a university community.”
Arthur Kim, an attorney representing Pradhan, said his client had been called “faggot" several times interspersed with instances of physical assault.
“It was incredibly funny to the people who were doing it, but to my client, it was painful and incredibly traumatic,” Kim said.
The lawyer alleges that when Pradhan complained, he was “effectively demoted” from his supervisorial role and prohibited from supervisor meetings.
“His livelihood, his career and his mental health have all been destroyed by APU,” Kim said.
If true, the allegations leveled by Pradhan are, of course, a violation of every moral clause laid forth by Christ; the perpetrators should be held accountable as well as the school if such abuse did take place.
That being said, the LGBTQ and progressive students have gone beyond just demanding Pradhan receive justice by attacking the school's stance on sexual morality. They demand the following:
- A full investigation and disciplinary actions for those who allegedly harassed Pradhan
- Recognition of the LGBTQ+ student group Haven as an official Azusa Pacific University student club
- The removal of clauses in the student handbook that discriminate against the LGBTQ+ students
- The establishment of campuswide LGBTQ+ training for faculty, staff and incoming students
The section in the handbook that allegedly "discriminates" against LGBTQ students states that "students may not engage in a romanticized same-sex relationship" and that the university “only recognizes the marriage between a man and a woman.” The handbook also endorses sex only between a husband and wife.
“APU adheres to a traditional definition of marriage. We are transparent about our belief,” says White. “Each student must look at the university’s values and decide if APU is the right place for them. It’s an individual choice.”
Arthur Kim says that's not enough and that the school's biblical view of homosexuality is responsible for Pradhan's abuse.
“(APU is) an educational institution that is open to the public that interacts with the public and yet it insists on imposing its own specific religious beliefs on everyone whether or not they believe it,” the attorney said.
As APU is a private Christian university, the attorney is way off-base to make that claim.