A private North Carolina Christian
college once attended by Franklin Graham is forcing its faculty and
staff to pledge their opposition to marriage equality and abortion.
Montreat College is requiring employees
to sign a “Community Life Covenant” that affirms “the sanctity
of marriage between one man and one woman” and the “worth of
every human being from conception to death.”
The requirement has pushed nine faculty
members out the door, according to an employee who is not returning
to the school after this semester. School spokesman Adam Caress
denied the claim in an email to The
Charlotte Observer. Caress said that only three employees
have cited the mandate as the reason they will not return to the
school next semester.
Last month, the Billy Graham Evangelist
Association (BGEA) contributed $100,000 to Montreat College's
scholarship fund. Franklin Graham, who graduated from the college in
1974, runs BGEA. The association has denied any involvement in the
Graham, who gave the benediction, or
closing prayer, at President Donald Trump's inauguration, is an
outspoken opponent of LGBT rights.
At a rally last year, Graham called
marriage “the great sin.” Graham, who supported Trump during
the campaign, has often criticized President Barack Obama's support
for LGBT rights, going so far as blaming
the Syrian refugee crisis on Obama's support for such rights.
Graham not afraid to have his head “chopped off” for opposing gay
A small group of students protested the
school's new mandate at a rally on Wednesday. At least one student
said that the covenant changed her mind about graduating from
“I was going to stay and I planned on
graduating from here,” sophomore Bailey Mathews told the
AP, “but now, no.”