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Talking god, gays

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by Monique Jimenez
Staff Writer

Faculty and administrators from various departments made up a lively panel, which address issues and questions regarding spirituality and homosexuality last week in the President’s Dining Hall.

The panel, Spirituality and Sexuality: Debunking the Myths, was put on by the University of La Verne’s Coalition for Diversity and featured Professor of Religion Jonathan Reed, Campus Minister Debbie Roberts, University Librarian Taylor Ruhl, and Professor of Psychology Raymond Scott as panelists.

Each presented their views from their own perspectives, personal experiences and professional backgrounds on spirituality and homosexuality.

The panelists were allowed to discuss issues of homosexual lifestyles, including religion and spirituality and how gay and lesbians deal with their own religion and spirituality.

Immediately following the discussion was a question and answer period where the panelists were asked various questions by other faculty and students.

The panelists discussed personal views as well as personal experiences with the connection and contrasts between religion, spirituality and homosexuality.

“The panel was an effort by the Diversity Coalition to help our campus focus on an issue that is both controversial and is often accompanied by intolerant and uneducated opinions,” Roberts said.

“The panel was an effort to educate and to encourage thinking and discussion about homosexuality,” she said.

Much of the focus of each of the panelists’ discussions dealt with the tie to the ULV mission statement. There are many examples of diversity and our ULV community that was discussed.

“The University promotes the goal of community within a context of diversity. The University, therefore, encourages students to understand and appreciate the diversity of cultures, which exists locally, nationally, and internationally,” according to the community and diversity section of the ULV Mission Statement.

The panel discussed issues many people on campus face, students and faculty combined.

“I feel that the information that was presented gave me good insight into what is going on and the situations that homosexuals face and deal with in society today,” senior psychology major Martha Espinosa said.

Panelist Raymond Scott, professor of psychology, discussed some of his own issues with spirituality and sexuality,

“Our hope is that exploring the intersections of spirituality and homosexuality will lead to a deeper understanding of the inner life of a sexual minority and also to understanding spirituality and the spiritual movements that are coming to life in our time,” Scott said.

The last of the panel discussions, “Issues, Theories and Models,” is coming soon.

For more information call ext. 4178.

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