LeTourneau University, a small college in Longview, Tex., has become the latest Christian school to face criticism over how it governs the behavior of its LGBT students. In a student-athlete handbook policy reported and excerpted by OutSports, the school prohibits several “sexually immoral or immodest” behaviors, including “same-sex dating behaviors and public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically-defined marriage is morally acceptable.”
Here is the school’s student-athlete policy on sexually immoral conduct, from a handbook accessed at the college’s student athletics site:
Sexually immoral or immodest conduct or the promotion of such, outside of marriage.
These include activities such as (but not limited to): sexually graphic text messaging, chatting, or video conferencing; fornication; sexual promiscuity; and adultery – whether they are heterosexual or homosexual in nature. Cohabitation (sharing a room, apartment, or home) with a member of the opposite gender is included in this prohibition.
Based on biblical standards, we believe that God has created the institution of marriage to be between one man and one woman, and only within this institution does God bless intimate sexual expression; all other intimate sexual expression outside of marriage is considered immoral behavior. Consistent with our desire to celebrate and model a Scriptural approach to sexuality, the University prohibits same-sex dating behaviors and public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically-defined marriage is morally acceptable.
The policy goes on to say that any student “concerned about their experiences with sexual temptation, participation, or addiction – either heterosexual or homosexual in nature – may proactively seek assistance from the Office of Student Life or our counselors without fear of disciplinary action.”
LeTourneau is a nondenominational Christian school. Its athletes compete in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The same policy also appears in the student handbook that applies to all students at the university.
The school’s stance on same-sex dating and advocacy “has always been our policy,” LeTourneau University spokeswoman Janet Ragland said in an emailed statement to the Washington Post, but the language as written in the student handbook was “clarified” in 2012. No students have been disciplined under the policy prohibiting same-sex dating and advocacy, Ragland said.
SOURCE: Abby Ohlheiser
The Washington Post