Last year, two men’s volleyball players, Drew Davis and Juan Varona, came out as gay in a feature in Out Sports. Now, the college has issued a Statement on Human Sexuality that makes it clear that homosexuality is not acceptable on its campus.
“We believe the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside the covenant of marriage is sinful and therefore ultimately destructive to the parties involved. As a Christian academic community, and in light of our institutional mission, members of the Erskine community are expected to follow the teachings of scripture concerning matters of human sexuality and institutional decisions will be made in light of this position.”
Out Sports says the college’s Board of Trustees was “pressured” by a group of conservative Christians to adopt the statement.
The small college is religiously affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. In their position statements, the church professes a similar take on homosexuality.
“Today, many seem to be caught in the web of homosexual practices and thought-patterns. In Christian love we declare that God’s Word clearly forbids homosexual practice as a sin against God. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ we affirm our obligation to show Christian love and concern for homosexuals, and call them to repentance, cleansing, and deliverance in the saving power of Jesus Christ.”
The statement has generated outrage on social media.
Erskine College in South Carolina has banned homosexuality, citing the Bible. Now they have to ban a lot more things: pic.twitter.com/dyngD5v6In
— JRehling (@JRehling) February 27, 2015
The practical outcome of the homosexuality ban at Erskine College is debatable. Erskine insists, through a statement made available via USA Today, that the statement is merely informative, and is not intended to restrict who can and cannot attend the school.
“The recent coverage of Erskine’s Statement on Human Sexuality has generated considerable confusion based on an inaccurate understanding of the nature of the statement and its intent. This statement describes a position. It does not prescribe a policy and does not ‘ban’ any individual or class of individuals from attending Erskine. No students have been asked to leave Erskine based on this statement.”
However, Washington Post writer Marissa Payne opines that the statement will, at the very least, make LGBTQ students “feel unwelcome and disappointed.”
Juan Varona echoes that sentiment.
“The release of this statement makes me disappointed because I have never received anything but kind treatment from everyone at this school, and my sexual orientation is no secret. So it took me by surprise.”
Was Erskine College right to condemn homosexuality? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Panoramio]