HARRISONBURG, Va. ― Eastern Mennonite University says it will no longer discriminate against job prospects who are in same-sex marriages.
Previously, the private liberty arts university in Harrisonburg found that people in same-sex relationships violated the faith-based principles of the university. The school announced the policy change on Monday, The Daily News Record reported.
In a statement, the university said the decision followed a “listening process” that began in the 2013-14 academic year. The process included students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors.
The new policy was approved last week by a majority vote of the university’s board trustees. It states that Eastern Mennonite does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or any legally protected status.
“As always, EMU’s hiring processes will continue to focus on hiring individuals who are the best fit for the position for which EMU is recruiting, and who are committed to EMU’s mission and core values,” Kay Brenneman Nussbaum, board chairwoman, said in the statement.
Nussbaum said that Eastern Mennonite’s education “is grounded in Mennonite/Anabaptist values, and we believe people in same-sex covenanted relationships are valued members of our learning community with equal rights to standard benefits.”
The university said President Loren Swartzendruber told employees on Monday that the board’s decision affirmed the school’s “strong commitment to our relationship with Mennonite Church USA even while the denomination continues its discernment.”
Eastern Mennonite has a main campus in Harrisonburg and a site in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and has an enrollment of approximately 1,800 students.