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AU Memo Letterhead

February 27, 2019

Dear AU community,

On Tuesday, the United Methodist Church, with which American University has been affiliated since our founding in 1893, voted at its General Conference to remain opposed to same-sex marriage and continue its ban on gay clergy.

This is disappointing news. It runs counter to the values of inclusion that matter so deeply at American University, and is painful to many in our community, especially our LGBTQ students, faculty and staff. We stand by our LGBTQ community who are part of the Methodist faith and wish to reaffirm our support for you.

As President Sylvia Matthews Burwell said in January, in supporting the position of presidents at Methodist-affiliated universities for greater inclusion: “American University has always celebrated the Methodist values of a love of learning, service to others and inclusion for all. We embrace the human dignity of all, regardless of their race, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or national origin.”

We are closely monitoring the outcome, are conferring with leadership from the United Methodist Church, and are heartened by the continued strong support for inclusion coming from within the United Methodist Church in response to this vote.

Our University Chaplain has also posted his response, which strongly affirms the commitment of the Office of the University Chaplain, Kay Spiritual Life Center and American University to full inclusion and human dignity for all.

For all those who are impacted by this disappointing decision, please know that we stand by you and will continue to support you.

Fanta Aw
Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence
American University