Updated:SANDY SPRINGS, Ga.,None —
A university in Rome is causing controversy by asking employees to pledge to reject certain sexual practices.
All employees will be required to sign a personal lifestyle statement saying, "I reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality."
University president Don Dowless said the statement falls in line with what the school promotes as a private Christian college.
"Our goal is not to offend people. Our goal is to declare who we are," Dowless told Channel 2’s Michael Buczyner.
The school’s board of trustees issued the mandate, which will affect more than 200 employees.
"That is the biblical view. This is our view and anything outside that is not biblical, we do not accept," Dowless said.
He said failure to sign the statement could result in an employee being terminated from the college.
"Anybody who adheres to a lifestyle that is outside of what the biblical mandate is and what the board has passed, including the president, would not be allowed to continue here," he said.
Some students agreed.
"Being the Baptist institution that it is, I can see where they're coming from," student Michael Loredo said.
But a sophomore who didn't want to be identified said making employees sign the statement is discrimination.
"The Bible says, ‘Thou shall not judge.’ Who is one person to judge what somebody else does? It's none of their business," the student said. "It's taking it too far, I believe."
Dowless said the practice of making employee sign a lifestyle statement is done at other Christian universities as well. Because Shorter doesn’t receive federal funding, the policy is legal.
The state protects workers from discrimination against race, color, religion, gender, national origin or disability, but there are also no state laws currently on the books prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation.
“These are biblical positions, and we believe the bible is relevant for all ages and in every area of life," Dowless said.
He said all new employees will have to sign the statement and current employees will have to sign it to renew their contract.