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December 17, 2012 2:46 PM Patrick Henry College Has No Gay Students (and Very Few Straight Ones)

By Daniel Luzer

Michael Farris, the founder and chancellor of Patrick Henry College, an evangelical Christian school in Virginia, says that his school has no gay students. He was therefore very annoyed to discover Queer at Patrick Henry College, a six-month-old blog apparently run by graduates of the college. The blog must be a “hoax,” Farris explained.

According to an article by Trevor Baratko in the Loudoun Times:

It’s simple, really. Homosexuals can’t exist at Patrick Henry College because the students sign an honor code, Farris claimed.
“[Homosexuals] could not sign our honor code,” Farris said, adding that he considers the actions of gay men and women “sinful.”
“Part of the honor code is to be sexually pure,” he added.

Certainly with only 325 students, and because the school isn’t exactly welcoming of same sex behavior, it’s likely there aren’t very many gay students at Patrick Henry, but zero? You’re sure?

Technically, he might be right. If one defines homosexuality as having sex with someone of the same gender, and students are more or less rigorously following the student handbook (see page 24), there might be no practicing gays at all.

Then again, if he’s saying Patrick Henry has no gay students because all students promise to refrain from sexual until marriage, he also barely has any straight students.

The “having sex” definition for sexual orientation would also, under the Patrick Henry principle, exclude everyone who isn’t married. Unmarried people of opposite genders can’t have sex either; under the student honor code a Patrick Henry student pledges “I will reserve sexual activity for marriage, shun sexually explicit material, and seek parental counsel when pursuing a romantic relationship.”

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer