University bans cake sale for homeless LGBT people

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A Christian university in Michigan has refused to allow a bake sale in aid of LGBT homeless youth to take place.

Students at Andrews University in Michigan were dismayed when told that they could not hold a bake sale in aid of homeless LGBT youth charity Fierce Chicago, as it “conflicts with the mission of Andrews University”.

Gay-straight alliance campus organisation Aull4One was denied permission and sponsorship for their planned cake sale – meaning the event could not go ahead.

Speaking to Blue Nation, student Eliel Cruz commented on the situation: “There are about 80 individuals currently in the group, majority of them queer, but that has only been accomplished through word of mouth.

“Administration knows we exist, they allow us to exist, and some administrators even champion the group’s existence. But unfortunately, we are unable to advertise our meetings and events on campus.”

AU’s dean of student life Steve Yeagley defended the decision, writing: “I think the most helpful thing I can do is to draw your attention to the fundraising policy found in the Student Handbook.

“It simply states that funds may be raised for non-profit organizations ‘whose mission and practices do not conflict with those of the University’.

“I think the judgment in this case is that there may be a perceived conflict between the mission and practices of Andrews University and those of Fierce Chicago — certainly not in their efforts to aid homeless youth, but in their approach to the LGBT issue, at large.

“If a way can be found to serve LGBT homeless youth through an organization that more fully reflects the University’s mission and the stance of our denomination (which clearly calls for exhibiting compassion toward LGBT persons), let’s explore that.”

However, rather than be deterred by the ban, Aull4One has set up a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo to raise money for the charity instead.

It states: “We realize that this conversation can be heated for many. But helping LGBT homeless youth–people in need–shouldn’t be an issue for anyone of any theological paradigm.”

The page has already raised over $5,000 since launching on Sunday.