Christian college allows benefits to same-sex couples

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Administrators at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, have allowed gay married couples affiliated with their school to now be granted the same benefits as straight couples.

Hope College is connected with the reformed Church in America.

“In employment policy and practice, Hope College has always followed the state’s legal definition of marriage.” Said John Knapp, president of Hope College, reported Blaze.

“Spouses are eligible for benefits so long as their marriage is legally recognized by the state of Michigan.” He continued.

The director of public affairs and marketing at the college, Jennifer Fellinger, said the college doesn’t have a different set of standards or policies for gay couples, compared to heterosexual couples.

“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.” She said to the Holland Sentinel.

However, the respect for gay unions does not transfer into the campus chapel. The Blaze reported that all marriages performed in the campus chapel must conform to the Reformed Church in America’s definition of marriage, which is a, “joyous covenanting between a man and a woman.”

Belmont University, formerly affiliated to the Tennessee Baptist Convention, has already been offering legally married same-sex couples equal benefits before the Supreme Court’s decision.

The Roman Catholic Notre Dame University has said to extend healthcare along with other benefits to same-sex couples when Indiana introduced same-sex marriage last year. A spokesperson then said: “Notre Dame is a Catholic university and endorses a Catholic view of marriage. However, it will follow the relevant civil law and begin to implement this change immediately.”

Gordon College in Massachusetts also said in a statement: “We recognise that students at Gordon who identify as LGBTQ or experience same-sex attraction have often felt marginalised and alone, and recognize the pressing need for a safe campus environment for all students.”


In addition to this, The US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday instructed all Justice Department staff to roll out the benefits to same-sex couples.

“Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Obergefell that every couple has the same right to participate in the institution of marriage, whether the partners are of the same-sex or opposite sexes, I directed Justice Department staff to work with agencies to ensure that the ruling be given full effect across the federal government,” Lynch said in a statement released today.