- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Salem, Massachusetts, put an end to a long-time contract with the Christian-based Gordon College after administrators refused to cave to the gay-rights movement and remove a ban on “homosexual behavior” among students and staff.

The contract between the two entities was a “reciprocal arrangement where we provided management of the facility in exchange for using it for educational programs connected to Gordon, and as well as ‘curation’ experiences for history majors at Gordon,” Rick Sweeney, the vice president of marketing and communications at the college, told the Christian Post.

The contract, in place since 2008, was actually due to wrap in August, but Salem officials decided to use the opt-out clause and exit the agreement early, The Blaze reported.

“The city had the option of opting out early,” Mr. Sweeney told the Christian Post. “When the college became part of a public controversy over attention on longstanding behavioral standards we have as a private Christian institution, they decided to move quickly.”

The public controversy stemmed from Gordon College president D. Michael Lindsay’s addition of his signature on a letter to President Obama requesting an exemption from his executive order on workplace discrimination against gays. Fourteen religious leaders signed the letter, The Blaze reported.

Subsequently, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll pointed to the college’s “behavioral standards” and policies that ban “homosexual behavior” as the reasons for the early contract drop, The Blaze reported. She said the college policy was actually in conflict with a non-discrimination ordinance that Salem had put in place a few months ago.

“The city does not contract with private parties that willfully discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national origin, race, religion sex or sexual orientation,” she said in the Christian Post report.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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