La Mirada, CA—On November 28, 2017, The Tyler Clementi Foundation, whose mission is to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities, submitted a list of grievances and requests to Biola University in response to two instances of religious-based bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) communities.
- On September 30, 2017, Alan Shlemon lectured at a Biola University-sponsored event entitled Homosexuality: Clarity and Compassion, where he endorsed sexual orientation change efforts that are not only unscientific and dangerous to LGBTQ students, but also violate standards set by the American Psychological Association.
- The Nashville Statement, signed by members of Biola University’s faculty, conflicts with university policy, which states, “All members of the Biola Community are expected to treat one another with respect and Christ-like compassion.” While Biola claims to support and protect all students, it continues to use its exemptions from federal Title IX nondiscrimination protections to bully and harass LGBTQ students.
“By paying Alan Shlemon to disseminate dangerous, unscientific misinformation about sexual orientation change efforts on campus, and by enabling a climate of fear among faculty who disagree with the anti-LGBTQ Nashville Statement, Biola University has reinforced the anti-LGBTQ narrative they already face because of their Title IX exemption,” said Erin Green, a former Biola student and Faith Coordinator for the Tyler Clementi Foundation. “Biola University has a moral, ethical, and professional responsibility to create a safe and welcoming environment for all students, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“As a Christian and mother of a college student who died by suicide after being cyberbullied on campus because of his sexual orientation, I am hoping that Biola University will follow Christ’s commandment to love their neighbor as themselves,” said Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. “Biola University cannot simultaneously abide by the Christ-like compassion of the Golden Rule, while also supporting policies, speakers, and laws that harm our children.”
Only one Biola professor, Wade McNair, Psy.D., has felt able to make a public statement about these issues via his personal social media, which provides him a certain amount of cover from retaliation: “This semester, I received two messages from two different students. One is still at Biola and one that has graduated, both having taken my undergraduate course. In both messages my students validated the need for me to continue to teach at Biola as an LGBT-safe faculty member. Both shared their stories and the joy and hardship of being LGBT, a Christian, and a student at Biola. The recent choices by Biola have left me disappointed and questioning my decision to teach here. But the student impact is the priority and I encourage all other LGBT-safe faculty to stay strong and reflect the love of Christ and the value of each human being created in His image! We make a difference!”
The Tyler Clementi Foundation is asking the administration within Biola University to respond in writing to our request, linked here, by 5:00 p.m. PST on Friday, December 1, 2017.