World Vision board member resigns after U-turn on gay policy

Published 04 April 2014

A World Vision board member has resigned after the Christian humanitarian organization reversed a policy change last week that would have allowed it to hire gay employees who were in same-sex marriages.

Jacquelline Fuller, who serves as director of corporate giving for Google Inc., said in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday, that while she continues to support the work that World Vision does to help children in poverty, she "disagreed with the decision to exclude gay employees who marry."

The billion dollar evangelical aid organization based in Washington state, first garnered attention last week after confirming that they would begin hiring employees who were in same-sex relationships.

That initial decision outraged scores of notable evangelical leaders and traditional marriage supporters, and thousands of World Vision donors canceled their child sponsorships over the new policy. Following two days of strong backlash, the charity reversed its decision and returned to its original policy in line with its biblical values.

While same-sex marriage is legal in the state of Washington, World Vision's decision to perform a u-turn on its policy change rests on its Christian core values. On the company's website, a portion of its values state, "We bear witness to the redemption offered only through faith in Jesus Christ. The staff we engage are equipped by belief and practice to bear this witness. We will maintain our identity as Christian while being sensitive to the diverse contexts in which we express that identity."

Before her resignation, Fuller had served on the board for just two years. The President of World Vision, Richard Stearns, released a statement thanking Fuller for her service.

Steve Panton, a World Vision spokesman, has confirmed that no other board members have resigned. He shared that board directors met Wednesday and will have another meeting in the next few days "to assess our past and future actions."

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