campus life

Why Is Arkansas Christian School Harding University Telling Gay Students They Must Turn Straight?

Harding University, the 6,800-student private Christian school in Searcy, Arkansas, has homosexuals in its student body. CANUBELIEVE! So a group of them go together to publish something called HU Queer Press, where they document what queer life is like on campus. The school is less than thrilled — and immediately blocked access to the publication’s site.

“Within a few moments of publishing “The State of The Gay,” Harding University has blocked access to and censored the website,” says a tipster. So what’s the big deal about being gay on campus? Well for one, claims our informant, “Out gay students at the university either have to do mandatory therapy (i.e. conversion therapy) or get expelled.”

Um. Bullshit?

For its part, Queer Press says it’s “part storytelling, part religious and political critique, and partly a manifesto of hope for Harding’s future.” Things might not be looking good for the future, since the present seems so crappy:

That mission statement if followed by some pretty engaging personal stories of LGBT students who feel they don’t have a home on campus. Which makes sense given that Harding, which is affiliated with the Churches Of Christ, is telling gay students they must “see myself as heterosexual” and tell themselves same-sex attraction is “not natural.” Writes one student: “Three days a week in Harding’s Counseling Center, I moved from therapist to therapist trying to find a way out. It was my final act of desperation. The choices were as follow: be saved from my closeted sin or death. I had it all planned out. If this failed, I would die. I had already gotten the gun. It was under my dorm room bed.”

This isn’t a minor annoyance. This is a matter of life and death for some students. We’re going to try to learn more