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Belmont Cancels Promise Keepers Event In Wake of Anti-LGBTQ+ Statement

Updated: Jun 27, 2023


Promise Keepers are no longer welcome at the Fisher Center after they released a divisive statement about Pride month and gender ideology.

“We are committed to engaging in constructive conversations that demonstrate kindness and seek understanding. We will not knowingly provide a space for any group whose language we believe to lack that same respect,” said Belmont administration, in an email to students, faculty and staff Tuesday morning.

Promise Keepers was scheduled to hold an event at the Fisher Center in September, but the university rescinded its approval after Promise Keepers published a declaration that “gender ideology has damaged lives, mutilated bodies, and torn apart families.”

The withdrawal sparked a press release from Promise Keepers about the university’s withdrawal. Belmont administration said the press release contains false information regarding the university’s conduct during this situation.

“The Promise Keepers announcement also falsely asserts that Belmont had not responded,” said Belmont administration. Belmont said it believed a mutual understanding had been reached between the leaders at Promise Keepers and the university.

The Promise Keepers’ press release said Ken Harrison, CEO, had reached out to Belmont leadership regarding “a broader conversation about the influence of social norms and popular culture on the values of Christian Institutions,” and said it is awaiting a response from Belmont.

After multiple attempts to reach out to Promise Keepers, the organization was unable to be reached for comment.

Taylor Sanderson, president of Bridge Builders, a student organization fostering a safe space for students of all gender identities, said she and other members were “pleasantly surprised” with Belmont’s decision to “firmly stand aside its queer students and queer population.”


The canceled event would have been a stop on the Promise Keepers “Daring Faith” tour. The event would have discussed “biblical manhood and the difficulties of navigating the tension between our Christian identity and the often-antithetical identities of the culture in which we live.”

The broader conversation surrounding inclusivity efforts on campus has been an important issue recently, with the creation of the office of Hope, Unity, and Belonging, as well as an Islamophobic WELL Core that the university apologized for in April.

As part of these efforts, the university promised to establish “guidelines and expectations that any future Belmont guest speaker must agree to prior to being given a campus platform,” in an email to students, faculty, and staff.


Although, Sanderson sees Belmont’s withdrawal as a “step in the right direction,” she wants to encourage Belmont leaders to fully recognize its queer population.

“Don’t say ‘culture wars’ and ‘members of the communities’,” she said. “Say LGBTQ."

As the university continues to strive toward becoming a safe, accepting space for varying beliefs and opinions, Belmont students look to what this next year will hold.

“I just want to reiterate that, Belmont leadership, I am really rooting for you guys,” said Sanderson.

This article was written by Lauren Haney and Katie Beth Cannon


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