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Students graduating from Seattle Pacific University went viral for protesting their school's anti-LGBTQ+ hiring policy.
In a TikTok video, students graduating from the private Christian school approached the interim president Pete Menjares with a Pride flag in exchange for their diploma, opting-out of shaking Menjares' hand.
The small act of defiance organized by student Chloe Guillot was in response to a policy the school made in May indicating employees must conduct themselves in a lifestyle that "reflect a traditional view on Biblical marriage and sexuality, as an expression of long-held church teaching and biblical interpretation."
This means employees may not be in same-sex relationships.
Seattle Pacific University is a private Christian school founded in conjunction with the Oregon and Washington Conference of the Free Methodist Church.
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According to CNN, approximately 50 students participated in the symbolic protest. Guillot told CNN that she told Menjares, "We're not going to stop until the policy changes."
The TikTok shows the students handing their interim president Pride flags and has already amassed more three million views and 4k comments.
We’ve also been sleeping outside his office for 19 days in a gay sit-in but he usually doesn’t say hi to us. #pride #pridemonth #lgbtq #gay #graduation #fyp #seattle #changethepolicy #hiregayprofs
"Love it," a commenter wrote.
"Incredible," another person said.
"These younger generations did NOT come to play! LOVE IT!," a commenter said.
In response to the graduation ceremony Pride flags, Menjares said, “It was a wonderful day to celebrate with our graduates. Those who took the time to give me a flag showed me how they felt and I respect their view."
On campus for the past month, students at Seattle Pacific University have protested the rule by holding student-run protests. Videos of students holding up signs and Pride flags at rallies, sitting outside the president's office, putting signs up around the school, and more show the community's determination to change the policy.
It’s more than just flags at graduation. Our whole campus has been protesting SPU’s homophobic employment policies for a month straight. Welcome to the resistance. We’re happy to have you. #pride #lgbtq #gay #pridemonth #resistance #protest #seattle #fyp #hiregayprofs #college
Like students at Seattle Pacific University, many other students from across the US are fierce defenders of the LGBTQ+ community. High school students and college students have staged protests in their schools in hopes to reverse anti-LGBTQ+ policies some have enacted.