A Texas university has banned gay student-athletes from dating and all athletes from publicly supporting same-sex marriage.
LeTourneau University is an NCAA Division III school in Longview, Texas, with an enrollment of 3,000. The private interdenominational Christian university was recently named one of "America's Best Colleges" in the West by U.S. News and World Report.
The following activities are prohibited…
Whether they are observed by a member of the community, verbally described, or personally shared with the public in verbal or written form (for example, through a personal website or social network). These behaviors are subject to administrative intervention and disciplinary action which may include Disciplinary Warning; Disciplinary Probation, Suspension, and/or Dismissals.
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.
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 (see “Personal Growth initiative”).
What many would consider their worst nightmare has become the reality for Christopher Yuan. While attending dental school, he began living promiscuously as a gay man and experimenting with illicit drugs. Within a few years, he was expelled from dental school, imprisoned for drug dealing and discovered that he was HIV positive.
But God has turned his nightmare into an exciting and inspiring story of redemption, grace and transformation. Christopher has an understanding heart for and desire to minister to those working through issues of sexuality and to those living with HIV/AIDS. He speaks locally and internationally to youth, on college campuses, in churches and in prisons.
The LGBT group Soulforce published a letter from a closeted gay Letourneau student back in 2007:
I will soon be graduating from LeTourneau University, and I plan to fully come out once I have. I have only chosen to remain mostly closeted because I do not want to risk being kicked out of school or forced into one of those infamous therapy camps. I have yet to reach a conclusion about my faith, however. I came to LETU hoping to be energized and changed, but I have become cynical and jaded about faith and religion.
OutSports' Cyd Zeigler says Letourneau's anti-gay policy for student-athletes is new and part of a national trend:
The movement by trustees and administrations to explicitly marginalize LGBT students on college campuses across the country is growing, even as students and faculty become increasingly accepting. Recent episodes at Erskine College, Hillsdale College and an unnamed Christian school in the South have been particularly troubling. …
How other NCAA members allow schools with these kinds of bigoted policies to be part of the NCAA is difficult to understand.