Hope College Extends Equal Employment Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses

Photo of Hope College.
(Photo : Trenner1945/Wikimedia/CC) A photo of Hope College taken on May 2011.

Hope College now offers equal employment benefits to same-sex spouses. The president of Hope College issued a statement by email on Monday, July 13. In the email, President John Knapp said that the decision came with much prayer and consultation.

“In employment policy and practice, Hope College has always followed the state’s legal definition of marriage. Spouses are eligible for benefits so long as their marriage is legally recognized by the state of Michigan,” wrote Knapp.

The change is a response to the Supreme Court’s mandate in the case of Obergefell vs. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 U.S. states. Knapp said the revised employment policy reflects the best interest of Hope College. He shared that it came after consulting the college’s Board of Trustees and legal experts.

“As it has in the past, Hope College welcomes students, staff and faculty based on their ability to contribute to the life of the college, not on their sexual orientation or marital status,” said Jennifer Fellinger, the director of public affairs and marketing to the Holland Sentinel.

Although the college now offers equal employment benefits to same-sex couples, it will not allow the use of their on-site chapel for gay marriages. The decision stems from the college’s adherence to the Reformed Church in America’s policy on marriage.

“This biblical witness calls us to a life of chastity among the unmarried and the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman,” states the college’s statement on sexuality.

Hope College is a private college in Holland, Michigan. It is a part of the Great Lakes Colleges Association. The college focuses on the study of liberal arts. It was established in 1866.

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