Shorter University is a little Baptist college in Georgia. Which is bad enough. But Shorter University is also a little Baptist college in Georgia run by hard-line Christian fundamentalists who are extremely concerned with the sex lives of all Shorter University employees, right down to the librarian.
Inside Higher Ed today brings us an update on Shorter's policy, instituted last fall, of requiring all (!) employees to sign a "personal lifestyle statement" in which they promise not to drink, do drugs, or engage in adultery, premarital sex, or homosexuality.
Seems like a fair price to pay for working in a low-level position at prestigious Shorter University, no?
Well, not to the school's longtime librarian, Michael Wilson, who happens to be gay. He signed the statement with the sex part crossed out, which is being taken as his resignation. This needless end of a man's career naturally raises the normal questions of why "Christians" are so hateful, etc etc. But it also raises a more fundamental question for all of academia: Why do you give a shit about your employees' private lives?
This is not the Defense Department. This is not the C.I.A. This is not the White House. This is a stupid college. Librarians hand out books. Teachers teach. Janitors clean up. As long as they can effectively hand out books, or teach, or clean up, then what the fuck hell does it matter if they go home and drink alcoholic beverages and smoke marijuana and have anal sex with men, women, or both? Assuming they show up on time the next day? I mean, shit, if the librarian at Berkeley was a closet white supremacist, who gives a shit, as long as he doesn't discriminate in book-handing-out? If the janitor at Barnard has a decidedly non-feminist marriage, what of it? These are all personal issues. They are not work issues. They have no impact, on work. You might as well fire employees for liking a certain sports team, or for disliking spicy foods.
College is not important—or well-paying—enough to be able to dictate what its employees do once they're off the clock. Get over yourselves, colleges. (Especially you, Christian colleges. You should be happy that anyone cool enough to get laid wants to work for you.)