Christian school to provide benefits to gay spouses
In response to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, Hope College will now grant gay married couples affiliated with the school the same benefits heterosexuals get.
Hope College, located in Holland, Michigan, is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America.
Before the landmark ruling, which overturned Michigan’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, if a Hope College employee was married to someone of the same sex in a different state, the couple would not receive the same benefits that a heterosexual married couple would at Hope College.
In a statement emailed on July 13, President John Knapp said the decision came with much prayer and consultation.
Jennifer Fellinger, the director of public affairs and marketing, said the college doesn’t have a different set of standards or policies for gay couples versus heterosexual couples.
Fellinger told the Holland Sentinel that, “Hope College does not discriminate in employment policy and practices on the basis of sexual orientation or marital status, and the school does not intend to start doing so now. As it has in the past, Hope College welcomes students, staff and faculty based on their ability to contribute to the life of the college, not on their sexual orientation or marital status.”
However, all marriages performed in the campus chapel must abide by the Reformed Church in America’s definition of marriage, a “joyous covenanting between a man and a woman.”
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