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NEW YORK — Quietly planning and meeting secretly for months, the board of newly-formed not-for-profit BJUnity today launched its new website BJUnity.org and its organization to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning and straight affirming alumni and students of fundamentalist Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C.
This website replaces and incorporates the WordPress blog lgbt-bju.org, which has been putting faces and names to the growing LGBT+ community of alumni, former students, faculty and staff of the notoriously anti-gay college since January 2012.
To celebrate the launch, 1953 BJU alumna Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott is featured in a special guest article. Mollenkott claims that her status as an out lesbian has earned her special approbation from BJU Chancellor Bob Jones III.
Later this week, a number of LGBT+ alumni of BJU will gather for the first time under the auspices of BJUnity in a weekend conference culminating in their first-ever participation in New York City’s LGBT Pride March, the annual Heritage of Pride sponsored march for gay rights starting at noon on Sunday, June 24. Marchers will be sharing their online petition for a public apology from the university for a controversial 1980 statement calling for the stoning death of homosexuals, subsequent extreme rhetoric, and the systematic mistreatment by university administrators of LGBT+ students and alumni.
On the steps of the White House, Bob Jones III notoriously proclaimed:
“I’m sure this will be greatly misquoted but it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.”
He has never apologized nor disavowed that statement and the university continues a long-standing tradition of anti-gay rhetoric and policies, including expelling gay students and banning gay alumni from its campus.
Organizers said BJUnity provides a safe harbor — a network of people and resources — for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and straight affirming people affected by fundamentalist Christianity.
BJUnity affirms and empowers LGBT+ from Bob Jones University and other independent fundamental Baptist organizations. BJUnity confronts homophobia in compassion, dignity and love, with the objective to promote dialogue and change, organizers said.
Find the group on Twitter at @LGBTBJU or on Facebook.