Missouri university rules against gay protections

BY Advocate.com Editors

December 17 2002 12:00 AM ET

The board of governors of Southwest Missouri State University has adopted a revised nondiscrimination policy that does not include protection for sexual orientation. The board voted unanimously Friday to adopt the revised policy without the phrase sexual orientation, despite advice from an Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee, which studied the issue for months and recommended that the university include protection for sexual orientation in its policy. Southwest Missouri State president John Keiser disagreed with the advisory committee and offered his own version, with sexual orientation eliminated from the policy, saying the wording in the current policy covered everyone who worked at or went to school at Southwest Missouri State.

Supporters of a move to include sexual orientation in the policy said their fight isn't over. "We have the momentum on this issue. They are defending a tired, old position," said Prof. Ralph Smith, one of five speakers who tried to persuade the board to add the words sexual orientation in order to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.

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