Christian colleges may lose federal benefits for sticking to their guns
- The Supreme Court gay marriage decision could result in Christian colleges losing their tax-exempt status for continuing to prohibit same-sex relationships on campus.
- Government officials have yet to discuss the possibility, but school administrators are planning ahead and expressing their concerns to elected representatives.
Following the Supreme Court ruling which made gay marriage legal in all 50 states, Christian schools across the country are questioning how the government will proceed should the schools decide to ban same-sex romantic relationships on their campuses.
According to MLive, Calvin College and Cornerstone College are only two of many Christian schools worried about how the new precedent will affect their religious-based policies. The two schools prohibit homosexual relationships, referencing the Bible’s stance on marriage.
In Cornerstone’s Paper on Human Sexuality, provided in an email to Campus Reform, the school writes, “Adam and Eve's union as man and woman models God’s design for marriage and perpetually stands as God’s loving and righteous will for all sexual intimacy.”
According to MLive, experts are discussing the possibility of religious universities losing tax-exempt status if they hold traditional views on homosexuality.
"The ruling itself doesn't actually have any impact at all outside of recognizing same-sex marriage as a fundamental right," said Frank Ravitch, a professor at Michigan State University's College of Law told MLive.
"At least for religiously affiliated entities, the risk isn't interfering with their beliefs or practices. It's going to be more a question of whether or not they're going to be subject to revocation of tax-exempt status down the road," he added.
Although the government has yet to discuss tax status for schools that continue their heterosexual-only relationship policies, administrators voiced concerns in early June by writing to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). The school leaders referenced a case involving Bob Jones University, a religious South Carolina school, was denied its tax-exempt status because the university prohibited interracial dating and marriage.
Ravitch told MLive that tax-exempt institutions must comply with federally mandated fundamental rights and civil liberties, including rights given regarding race, religion, sex, and national origin.
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