Graduating US Students Give Pride Flags to Uni Head; Protest Anti-LGBT Rules

This was part of a protest against the school's ban on full-time staff from being in same-sex relationships.

2 min read

In a viral video, students of Seattle Pacific University in United States were seen giving pride flags to the college president, as part of a protest against the school's ban on full-time staff being in same-sex relationships.

The graduation ceremony took place on 12 June, but the videos went viral after they were posted by social media account @EngaygeTheCulture, which is run by the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific (ASSP) – the group leading the SPU protest.

The video is a montage of students handing over the flags and receiving their diplomas.

It was first shared with the caption – "POV: the president of your university thinks being LGBTQ+ is a 'lifestyle choice' and a 'morality issue' so you decide to give him a gift at graduation," and has received nearly 2 million views.

The Controversy

In May, the SPU board of trustees 'reaffirmed' a policy that bans the staff from having same-sex relationships, according to The Seattle Times. Since then the ASSP has been leading a sit-in protest, for 19 days and counting.

“You’re going to charge me thousands of dollars every quarter to come here and to get an education, but you’re not going to provide me the education that I deserve as a queer person by having queer staff and faculty?” Leah Duff, 22, told The Guardian.

Lea has reportedly sat in the protest for all 19 days. “You talk about being ecumenical, being so diverse. And it’s like, where is it?” he asked.

In a statement in May, Cedric Davis, chair of the SPU board, said that the decision to keep the rule was “thorough and prayerful deliberation.”

“The board made a decision that it believed was most in line with the university’s mission and statement of faith and chose to have SPU remain in communion with its founding denomination, the Free Methodist church USA, as a core part of its historical identity as a Christian university,” The Guardian reported.

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