WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW has put out a list of “gay friendly” churches and businesses. The list was e-mailed a few weeks ago, and has since been questioned by students and staff.
It’s also making international headlines. One professor says not only is this upsetting, but it is an inappropriate use of state resources.
“I think gays and straights, Christians and atheists, everyone should agree that it is not the state’s business to go around and do research of churches and then kind of pick the ones that agree with them,” Dr. Mike Adams said.
The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning Intersex and Allied Resource Office at UNCW began distributing the list last month. Referred to as a “resource guide” the e-mail not only included “gay-friendly” churches but also attorneys, businesses and even health care providers.
Dr. Kimberly Cook, head of UNCW’s sociology department, later suggested professors share it with their students.
“I was just stunned that she circulated that e-mail and suggested that we ought to share it with our students,” Adams said. “I am absolutely outraged by it.”
However, some students say they feel the guide could be a good thing.
“It doesn’t offend me at all,” UNCW junior Sarah Heverly said. “I think it’s great to try and incorporate different people and make them comfortable in their community.”
Heverly says she understands Dr. Adams’s perspective, but says the group was only trying help.
“I can see it being inappropriate,” she said. “I can see both sides of it, but I definitely think that any way that we can incorporate everyone and make them feel welcome is great. We have different groups all over campus. What’s the difference?”
Adams says though the “gay-friendly” guide probably has not crossed the legal line, it should not be distributed.
UNCW Chancellor Gary Miller issued this statement about the list:
“UNCW actively fosters, encourages and promotes equality and inclusiveness For everyone in accordance with our university policies. I am personally committed to this ideal. That includes providing resources for all groups. I believe the resource guide recently released by LGBTQIA was intended for that purpose. To ensure we are fulfilling our responsibilities as a public university, I am asking that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion review the process by which the guide was created before it is distributed further.”