A Christian university has rejected a $3 million donation from a religious group after it demanded the college shut down a LGBTI group.
Samford University, founded by Alabama Baptists, declined the offer from state churches.
Earlier this year, the faculty approved a LGBTI group called Samford Together.
It was planned to provide a ‘forum for students who want to discuss topics relating to sexual orientation and gender identity…[in] an open-minded and accepting environment’.
It had yet to be formally recognized by Samford’s board of trustees.
Alabama Baptist Convention warned if the group went ahead, they would withdraw the $3 million funding.
The decision to reject the money was approved by the university’s executive committee.
‘We strongly believe that the Old Testament and New Testament each speak unequivocally against homosexuality. When addressing same-gender sexual relationships, the Bible without exception never affirms such behavior as an approved lifestyle,”‘said John Thweatt, the convention’s president, and Rick Lance, executive director of its board of missions, in a joint statement.
But for the university, they believe the decision is in the ‘best interests’ of Samford and the Alabama Baptist State Convention’.
University president Andrew Westmoreland said: ‘Our longstanding educational and ministry relationships with Alabama Baptists have always been more significant than money, and these relationships will continue and flourish.’
Samford University was founded in 1841 and describes itself as “deeply rooted in its Christian mission”.