What will it take to shame Shorter University over its ban on gay employees? Thousands of people signing an online petition? Unlikely. National media attention? Probably not. How about an email campaign? Now there’s that, too. The Human Rights Campaign has stepped into the fray over the Georgia school, asking its supporters to tell Shorter this simple message: Don’t Discriminate Against LGBT Christians. HRC makes it easy, providing this form letter:
Don't Discriminate Against LGBT Christians Shorter University Board of Trustees I respect your right, as a private institution, to implement your own guidelines. However, as an institution of higher learning, you also have an obligation to prepare students for the modern world they will face upon graduation. That's a world where a majority of Americans support issues like employment non-discrimination policies, and recognize that anti-LGBT bullying and rhetoric can have serious consequences. Your discrimination against LGBT employees has two profound impacts -- you are filtering out qualified individuals who have risen to where they are in their field through hard work and talent; and you are sending a message to your students that being LGBT is wrong. The latter is particularly dangerous. People should be judged on their merits -- on their qualifications to do a job or their academic success -- not on who they are. I urge you to immediately remove this lifestyle pledge as a condition of employment at Shorter University. In turn, you will be providing students with the best faculty possible, and sending a message that all humans deserve the same dignity and respect -- not discrimination.Fill in your particulars, hit send and with such ease, you are now a clicktivist. But it's not the only way. A petition from SignOn, Stop Shorter University from requiring faculty and staff to sign a lifestyle pledge, initially hoped for 2,000 signatures. A few days later, and a few thousands more signatures, and now the effort is closing on 5,000 signees. Go ahead and do both. It’s the least you can do for the school’s gay employees, who are already bracing for a witch hunt. Shorter President Donald Dowless (photo) won’t care. But you’ll feel better.