Lee University on LGBTQ+ and the church

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CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF)- Lee University administration is clearing the air after they faced some backlash from a chapel service.

Lee University students go to chapel twice a week, either online or in person. However, two of the services, in the month of March, have raised some concerns for some alumni and some members of the LGBTQ community.

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On March 2nd, Dr. Preston Sprinkle came to Lee Universities campus to talk about sexuality and gender identity in Christianity.

According to the University’s President, Dr. Mark Walker, Sprinkle stated some things that did not align with the campus’ covenant.

So, Dr. Walker held a separate chapel to clear any confusion about where the school stands with the issue.

Dr. Walker told News 12 in an interview that students should focus on repentance. “We felt like we needed to address it and that was the idea of repentance. In the Christian faith, repentance is what is necessary for turning back to God or going back to God for salvation,” adds Walker.

Blake Kitterman, an LGBTQ advocate, says that the lack of affirmation at the university is apart of a larger problem.

“We see a lot of these students gay, queer trans gay bisexual have higher rates of suicide because of these very specific messages that seek to pull apart who they are”, adds Kitterman.

Some alumni have started a petition to get the school to affirm the LGBTQ+ students.

Blake Kitterman says, “It’s a horrifying situation to be able to have to exist in community that does not affirm you.”

Dr. Walker says, “Any student that goes through the admission process to enroll and is accepted, are welcome at Lee and attend Lee and as long as they abide by the community covenant, there’s no problem”

Dr. Walker wants students to know that they can reach out to many outlets on campus if they have any concerns.

“Certainly want them to come forward and to talk with us, share with us what those concerns could be. Whether that be going to their RA or their RD or someone in student development or coming to our counseling center or even coming to my office. Anybody that has concerns about anything, we want to know about it”, says Walker.