Grand Canyon University, a Christian for-profit institution, announced Friday that it will extend spousal benefits to same-sex partners of employees. A statement announcing the shift stressed that the university continues to believe "that the Bible is clear about marriage being a sacred union between a man and a woman." But the university said that "in this specific instance, GCU is making a conscious choice to maintain its religious beliefs, while respecting and honoring its neighbors, as well as the system of government and laws that exist today, by extending employee benefits to spouses of lawfully married same-sex couples." The statement stressed that Grand Canyon was making the decision itself, and not being forced to change policies. But the American Civil Liberties Union recently threatened to sue Grand Canyon if it did not treat employees in same-sex marriages the same as employees in opposite-sex marriages.
Two Christian colleges that treat gay married employees the same as straight married employees recently ended their membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, amid opposition from many CCCU members to same-sex marriage and a view expressed by some of those members that colleges that recognize same-sex marriages should be excluded from membership. Grand Canyon has no affiliation with the CCCU.
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