You probably know that gay rights have been in the national news, but you might not know that they are an issue on our own campus. Georgetown College protects students who identify as LGBT but not faculty or staff. We want to help fix this problem. If you support gay rights on campus, please read on to learn more about us.
The Non-Discrimination Work Group is comprised of students, faculty and staff who care about and work for fairness, diversity and equality in our campus community. Although the College does not actively discriminate against gay faculty and staff, it provides no formal policy against such discrimination, unlike protection policies on many other college and university campuses. We love Georgetown College and believe that the college cares about and supports all of its faculty and staff.
That is why we think the college should change its faculty non-discrimination policy.
As you may know, last year the faculty proposed to the Board of Trustees a new non-discrimination policy for faculty inclusive of gender and sexual orientation, but the Board did not approve the change. We have written a letter asking the Board to reconsider. A number of student groups have already signed the letter. If your group agrees with us, we would welcome its support as well. If your group does not, as an organization, support the letter, you are welcome to show your support as an individual.
Here are the highlights from the NDWG’s letter to the Board:
•There is no federal or Kentucky law that protects against anti-gay discrimination, and although four Kentucky towns have local non-discrimination laws, Georgetown does not. This leaves LGBT faculty subject to dismissal at any time, regardless of tenure. We think we should work to change the law, but until that happens, we should change our campus policies.
•Georgetown College cares about diversity and has a Diversity Committee to “identify critical diversity issues” on campus. We think this is just such an issue.
•Surveys show that our campus and our state already support non-discrimination. Last year, the majority of Georgetown faculty and students surveyed thought that accepting gay faculty was appropriate to our Christian mission. In 2010, 83 percent of Kentuckians favored protecting gender and sexual orientation from discrimination, and all of Kentucky’s Fortune 500 companies as well as its top 25 manufacturers/support firms already do this. Non-discrimination is good for business, the state and our college.
Gay rights are still controversial, and some might say they have no place at a Christian college, yet many Christian denominations accept gay members, gay clergy, gay bishops and even gay marriage: http://bit.ly/eR2wln.
Georgetown is already a place where most people care about, respect and even love their gay neighbors. Ask the Board of Trustees to align our policies with our practices by providing explicit protection for faculty that is in alignment with the protection already in place for students. Groups and individuals can view the entire letter to the Board and show their support by signing the letter at http:// www. change.org/petitions/gc-non-discrimination.