US charity reverses policy on same-sex married employees
World Vision makes U-turn in just two days after outcry
- Sarah Pulliam Bailey for Religion News Service
- United States
- March 27, 2014
After announcing earlier this week that it will no longer define marriage as between a man and a woman in its employee conduct manual, Christian relief organization World Vision reversed course Wednesday (March 26), and said it would no longer recognize the same-sex marriages of its employees.
Heavy criticism from evangelicals may have prompted the reversal. Soon after its earlier groundbreaking decision, the Assemblies of God urged members to consider dropping their support.
The loss of child sponsorships may have also been at play.
Ryan Reed tweeted on Wednesday (March 26), “My wife works for WV. In today’s staff meeting Stearns announced that so far 2,000 kids dropped.”
World Vision’s child sponsorships are $35 a month, which means the organization could have lost at least $840,000 in revenue over the longterm.
About $567 million of World Vision’s $1 billion budget comes from private contributions, according to the 2012 annual report, according to Christianity Today.
“We’ve listened,” World Vision president Rich Stearns told reporters. “We believe we made a mistake. We’re asking them to forgive and understand our poor judgement in the original decision.”
Since its founding, World Vision has always been a Christian organization, said Stearns. “The decision we’ve made is based on biblical principles.”
Supporters made it clear that same-sex marriage was not consistent with the organization’s views of the Bible.
“World Vision has been committed to the authority of the Bible…and we believe what Scripture says about marriage,” he said.
He noted how divisive the change has become in the past few days.
“What we found was we created more division instead of more unity, and that was not the intent of the board or myself.”
The board voted overwhelmingly for the initial decision and voted overwhelmingly to reverse itself, Stearns said.
“We hadn’t vetted this issue with people who could’ve given us really valuable input at the beginning. In retrospect, I can see why this was so controversial for many of our supporters and partners around the country. If I could have a do over, it would’ve been that I would’ve done more consultation with Christian leaders.”
Source: Religion News Service