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Shorter University, a Christian Baptist school in Rome, Ga., is forcing its 200 employees to sign a statement declaring that they reject homosexuality. Anyone who doesn't sign the pledge risks losing their jobs.
Atlanta’s WSBTV reports that employees who sign the "personal lifestyle pledge" also must reject premarital sex and adultery, and other behavior the school deems to violate the Bible’s teachings. The statement also bans drug use and drinking alcohol in the presence of students, and requires employees to be active in local churches. The lifestyle statement was adopted by the school's board of trustees last month and presented to employees three days later, on Oct. 24.
All new employees will have to sign the pledge upon being hired, and all current employees will have to sign it in order to renew their contract. The pledge notifies employees that they can be fired for violating the new policy.
An anonymous employee voiced his/her concerns to the Georgia Voice:
"A question about these things is how they will be enforced. We now will live in fear that someone who doesn't like us personally or someone who has had a bad day will report that we've been drinking or that we are suspected of being gay. What happens then? There is no defined process and even if there were, there is no way to absolutely prove or disprove the accusation."
Shorter President Don Dowless told WSBTV that the goal wasn’t to offend people, and that lots of Christian schools have similar pledges. "These are biblical positions," he said.
School officials say that since the school doesn’t receive federal funding, it believes its actions are perfectly legal.