It’s OK to be gay at Baylor University, just don’t have sex.
That’s because the private Baptist college in Waco, Texas, just dropped the ban on homosexual acts from its sexual misconduct policy, but still hasn’t approved sex before marriage.
Two years after the student government rejected a call to drop the homosexual ban from the school’s sexual conduct policy, the school’s board of regents acted on its own and removed the ban.
The old sexual conduct policy listed homosexual acts along with sexual abuse, harassment, assault, incest, adultery, and fornication as actions requiring disciplinary measures.
The new policy simply says sex should be limited to marriage, and the college expects its students to obey God’s commandments.
In 2013, the Student Senate tried to get the ban dropped from the school’s conduct policy, but the move was vetoed by former Student President Wesley Hodges.
Although the changes bring the university more in line with the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman made it clear the school still doesn’t approve of gay marriage.
“These changes were made because we didn’t believe the language reflected the university’s caring community. The university has a responsibility to articulate clearly and consistently Baylor’s commitment to its values as a Christian university.”
When asked to define the school’s position on gay marriage, Fogleman pointed to the “Family” section of the Baptist doctrine, drawn up in 1963, that defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman.
The decision to remove the university’s ban on homosexual acts from the sexual conduct code happened in May, but no one paid much attention until the Waco-Tribune Herald reported on it last week.
The graduate who first introduced the resolution to remove the ban back in 2013 said he did so to help include gay and lesbian students in the campus community, so they wouldn’t feel ostracized, according to the Waco-Tribune Herald.
Including gay and lesbian students in the campus community would have helped athletes like Brittney Griner, who waited until after graduation to publicly come out of the closet.
Griner’s 2014 book, In My Skin, condemns Baylor for having a double standard with its athletes. Standout athletes like Griner are encouraged to attend the university and bring their athletic prowess, but if they’re gay or lesbian, they’re expected to hide their sexuality.
The school’s new policy, while still outlawing sexual acts, would drop the distinction felt by gay and lesbian students.