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Harvard Demands Christian Student Group Sever Ties With Parent Organization

Harvard University is directing one of its student groups to cut ties with its parent organization for its stances on sexuality. The group is not going to be taken off probation unless it does so.

Harvard College Faith & Action came under fire recently from the school after making several controversial decisions. The group reportedly invited an ex-gay activist to speak, and was then placed on probation for asking an "actively bisexual" student to resign from an internal leadership role.

As student newspaper The Crimson reported: "Harvard College Faith and Action will need to sever ties with parent group Christian Union in order to re-earn recognition from the College at the end of its year-long administrative probation, according to College spokesperson Rachael Dane."

Harvard reportedly claims that the group violates a rule that all student organizations must have "local autonomy," and that the group violated the school's anti-discrimination policies. "The Harvard College Student Handbook mandates that all recognized student groups maintain 'local autonomy,' meaning they must make 'all policy decisions' without obligation to any parent group, chapter, or charter."

HCFA's co-presidents Molly Richmond and Scott Ely argue that the group is autonomous: "Harvard College Faith and Action is entirely autonomous from Christian Union. Our student leadership makes all decisions about HCFA, its people and its policies." They added: "HCFA was first approved by the Office of Student Life on that basis, and our governance structure has remained fully in the hands of undergraduates ever since."

So why the ultimatum? I suspect we'd find that answer in the school's general opposition to Christian teachings on sexuality.