A Christian university that bans same-sex relationships told kids to come back to school and not to worry about coronavirus.
Liberty University in Virginia, known for its promotion of fundamentalist Christian beliefs and strict anti-LGBT+ stance, has invited 5,000 of its 15,000 students back to campus literally days after the state shut down all state schools for the rest of the academic year.
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell said : “While some colleges basically threw their hands up and just shut down and left the problem for somebody else to deal with, Liberty’s executive staff rolled their sleeves up.”
He added: “Our thinking was, ‘Let’s get them back as soon as we can–the ones who want to come back.”
While classes will be taught online, students are now free to use dining services, campus accommodation, the university gym and computer labs.
According to Queerty , as of yesterday 1,900 students have returned to campus.
Liberty University banned all LGBT+ groups in 2006 on the grounds of ‘morality’ , and in 2014 secured an exemption from federal anti-discrimination laws to allow it to discriminate against LGBT+ people.
All students are required to sign a statement promising not to have gay sex, or sex with a transgender person – even if they’re married.
According to the university’s honour code: “Sexual relations outside of a biblically-ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.
“In personal relationships, students are encouraged to know and abide by common-sense guidelines to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Activities inconsistent with these standards and guidelines are violations of the Student Honor Code.”
Violations of the rule can be punished in various ways, including a $300 fine, 30 hours of community service, or expulsion.
President Falwell invited brothers and alumni of the university David and Jason Benham, who were dropped as hosts by reality network HGTV over their participation in anti-gay protests , to a commencement ceremony in 2014.
He told the class of 2014: “ USA Today reported that it appears HGTV was alerted by an anti-Christian and anti-conservative watchdog group that David Benham had protested against the homosexual political agenda.
“When I learned of this just two days ago… I [invited] the Benham brothers to be my personal guests at commencement this morning. To my surprise, they were able to make it. They are here, sitting on the front row.”
He told the brothers: “Your values are American values, and if everyone in the world turns against you, you can rest assured that your alma mater will always have your back.
“I would like to invite the more than 30,000 people in this stadium to join me in applauding you to demonstrate our support for you and our admiration for the stand you’ve taken.”
This year, Liberty University even gave Nigel Farage an honorary doctorate.
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