By: Christine Souders
A QC college is taking a stand on same sex marriage. Gay couples can now be joined in a civil union on Augustana's campus. Even though gay marriage is not legal in Illinois, civil unions, which extend some of the same rights and benefits, are legal.
Augustana President Steve Bahls sent out an email on Monday to faculty and students, saying the college doesn't des criminate based on sexual orientation, and their policies and practices should reflect that.
Augustana Senior Mathew Kerr says he and his partner aren't ready to tie the knot, but Kerr said it's great to know the college is accepting of same-sex unions, "I would be ok with getting married here, like the policy is in place and this is a really pretty campus, so you know, it's just a nice thing."
Chaplin Richard Priggie agrees. He said he's excited about the college's progressive strides towards equality, "Since it follows with our values and the action of our church body, we felt it was important at this time to say yes. Yes, we do affirm those ceremonies and we're looking forward to having them in our chapel."
But the decision to allow civil unions ceremonies on campus isn't sitting well with all students.
"Coming from a more conservative stand point, it's very difficult for me to kind of decide how I feel about it because everyone should have equal rights. It's just kind of a fine line when you get the church involved in things that are state issues, I guess," said Ashley Hopper, an Augustana Student.
The Chaplin is officiating his first same-sex wedding inside Augustana's chapel in March.