Federal Way’s World Vision changes hiring policy to allow Christians in same-sex marriages

Rich Stearns, president of World Vision, during an interview with the Mirror in 2009.  - File photo
Rich Stearns, president of World Vision, during an interview with the Mirror in 2009.
— image credit: File photo

Christian humanitarian relief giant World Vision has changed its hiring policy to allow Christians in legal same-sex marriages to be employed at the Federal Way-based agency.

The policy change was announced Monday, when the organization’s U.S. branch president Richard Stearns sent out a letter to its more than 1,100 employees.

“ … Since World Vision is a multi-denominational organization that welcomes employees from more than 50 denominations, and since a number of these denominations in recent years have sanctioned same-sex marriage for Christians, the board — in keeping with our practice of deferring to church authority in the lives of our staff, and desiring to treat all of our employees equally — chose to adjust our policy,” Stearns wrote, noting the board modified the agency’s employee standards of conduct to allow Christians in legal same-sex marriages to work for the organization. “I want to be clear that we have not endorsed same-sex marriage, but we have chosen to defer to the authority of local churches on this issue. We have chosen not to exclude someone from employment at World Vision U.S. on this issue alone.”

Stearns said he and the board wanted to prevent this “divisive issue from tearing World Vision apart and potentially crippling our ability to accomplish our vital kingdom mission of loving and serving the poorest of the poor in the name of Christ.”

He said the board affirmed that World Vision will continue to expect abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage for all staff.


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