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Boston College students vote to add sexual orientation to nondiscrimination clause

Boston College students vote to add sexual orientation to nondiscrimination clause

Boston College students have overwhelmingly approved a petition urging the Catholic institution not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. More than 80% of the 4,000 undergraduates who voted in student elections on Monday and Tuesday backed a nonbinding referendum calling for including sexual orientation in the college's nondiscrimination clause. More than 2,000 students and 200 faculty and staff members signed the petition to put the question on the ballot for this week's student government elections. But other officials at the Jesuit-affiliated college have raised concerns that the petition endorses homosexuality. College administrators are not required to act on the referendum, and a spokesman said the school's leaders are opposed to adding sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination policy. The state requires colleges and universities to adopt a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, but religious institutions like Boston College are exempt. School spokesman Jack Dunn said removing that exemption "could force us to take actions that are in conflict with our Catholic beliefs and values. We do not discriminate in our hiring practices or tolerate harassment in any way, including on the basis of sexual orientation. However, as a Catholic university in a state with a history of anti-Catholic bias, we choose not to forfeit the protections afforded us by the state constitution." (AP)

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