Bob Jones University’s Gay Alumni Group

Bob Jones University, one of the America’s most conservative Christian colleges, has long been hostile to homosexuality, not to mention other, much less controversial behaviors.

In 1970 the Internal Revenue Service canceled the university’s tax-exempt status because the school continued to institute a ban on interracial dating. In 1998 the school told a gay graduate that he “would be arrested for trespassing” if he visited campus. Bob Jones prohibits students (and staff) from having premarital sex, possessing pornography, drinking alcohol, going to the movies, having facial hair, smoking, and wearing Abercrombie & Fitch clothing.

But apparently the school does have a small, though significant population of gay alumni. And they have a support group that was involved Gay Pride events in New York last week. According to a piece Derek Dellinger of KLTV:

That organization is known as BJUnity. It’s a group set up by alumni of Bob Jones University, and was formed earlier this year.

This weekend, they’ll be getting high visibility – with more than 30 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students and alumni, and their heterosexual allies – marching in a gay pride parade in New York City. BJUnity said they’re open to appearing in South Carolina LGBT pride events in the future, but that the appearance at this weekend’s pride event in New York was based on alumni living in New York, and for the visibility it provides for a group that’s just getting off the ground.

Bob Jones noted the group’s existence but, through Chief Communications Officer Carol Keirstead, responded with one of the more judgmental press releases issued by an institution of higher education:

Bob Jones University recognizes the right of alumni to organize and support the LGBT agenda and LGBT events. We trust they will respect our right to exercise our belief in the absolute authority of God’s Word.

Yes, she’s citing God.

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Daniel Luzer

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