A Baptist university in Moncton has apologized to the gay community for a hiring policy which excludes them.

About a year ago, gay rights supporters were furious with the university after it was revealed the school had a hiring policy that effectively barred openly gay people from joining their team.

In today’s newspaper, a letter from the school’s president apologizes for any hurt feelings from the policy.

“We wish to apologize for anything that Crandall University might possibly have communicated in the past that may have seemed unloving or disrespectful in any way toward any individual or groups,” it read.

Supporters of equal rights for the LGBT community who gathered at a rally today to observe the International Day against Homophobia are applauding the move.

“We commend them for their public apology and we gladly accept it,” says Sebastien Bezeau of Moncton’s River of Pride committee. “This is the proof of the dialogue that has been going on for the past few months.”

Former student Allison Fanjoy received two degrees from the school. Her relatives also donated the land on which the current campus sits.

“It is a generalized statement of faith that covers a lot of parameters, not just sexuality, but also personal behavior regarding drinking, smoking, being in a common-law relationship, anything like that,” says Fanjoy.

While many gay rights supporters say the letter of apology is a positive step in the right direction, some are looking for a change in the policy to comply with the human rights legislation for a publicly-funded institution.

“In the upcoming months, that’s when we will have to be looking and make sure that there are concrete actions following that public apology,” says Bezeau.

A secretary at the school says the president is out of the country until next week.

In February the university announced it would no longer seek financial support of roughly $150,000 a year from the City of Moncton.

The school received $6 million in federal funding in 2008/2009.

With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell