World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns expressed grief over the child sponsorships that were canceled after the organization announced its original policy change on hiring those in same-sex marriages.
After receiving feedback from supporters and faith leaders who were opposed to World Vision’s decision to employ Christians who are in same-sex marriages, Stearns said in a press conference call Wednesday that the board decided to reverse its earlier decision and reaffirm the nonprofit’s commitment to core biblical principles and the belief that “marriage is an institution created by God, between a man and a woman.”
“I can say from a personal standpoint, the last couple of days have been painful. We especially feel pain and a broken heart for the confusion that we caused for many of our faithful friends and partners around the country who saw the policy change as a reversal of World Vision U.S.’s strong commitment to biblical authority, which was not intended to be,” Stearns commented.
Although World Vision doesn’t have a precise count on the number of child sponsorships that were canceled following Monday’s announcement, Stearns confirmed that many supporters had canceled their donations in protest of the board’s decision.
“That certainly grieves us,” he said, “because the children that we serve will suffer for that. I can’t tell you what the cumulative financial impact has been or will be. But I will say that our choice is not about money or income, it’s really about a sincere desire for us to do the right thing: to be consistent with our core values, and to respond to the legitimate feedback and counsel that we have received from faith leaders and friends of World Vision.”