Baylor Rewords Ban on 'Homosexual Acts'

Gay sex no longer listed alongside incest, sexual assault
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2015 2:11 AM CDT
The Baylor University logo is seen on the football field at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.   (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Rod Aydelotte, File)

(Newser) – The world's biggest Baptist university no longer has a sexual conduct policy that describes "homosexual acts" as a "misuse of God's gift" comparable to sexual assault or incest. A Baylor University spokeswoman tells the Houston Chronicle that the language in the old policy didn't reflect Baylor's "caring community" and the policy was changed to "state more plainly the expectations of the university." The new policy doesn't list prohibited acts, the AP reports, but states it is guided by the belief that "human sexuality is a gift from God" and "physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity."

The new policy doesn't appear to actually allow Baylor students to engage in "homosexual acts" even in the context of marriage—it was updated before gay marriage was legalized nationwide and contains a footnote citing a 1963 Southern Baptist statement defining marriage as between a man and a woman, the AP notes—but it's still being seen as progress for the conservative institution, the Texas Tribune reports. The university is slowly becoming more accepting of gay students, advocates tell the Tribune, which notes that change doesn't come quickly at Baylor: Its ban on dancing on campus wasn't lifted until 1996.

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