Patrick Henry College Chancellor Michael Farris has denied that gay students exist at the evangelical college he founded in Virginia in 2000, stating that such students "could not sign our honor code," and the blog they supposedly founded is a "hoax."
Farris made the controversial statements after he was made aware of a Facebook group entitled "Queer at Patrick Henry College." The group, which describes itself as a "collaborative blog," is devoted to discussing LGBTQ issues and how they relate to the Patrick Henry community. When Farris found out about the group, he threatened to sue it and wrote a Facebook message to the group's administrators. The threat of a suit has since been dropped, but controversy still rage. The Loudoun Times reports the site was blocked on the school's wi-fi for days.
Patrick Henry was founded by Farris, who was a constitutional lawyer and ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1993. The school is small with only 325 students. Its 63-page handbook explicitly forbids sex before marriage or "sexually suggestive dancing," the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
The blog's founders, nevertheless, believe that an education at Patrick Henry is worth-while.
“Even in the areas where it seems the college can be somewhat hypocritical – ‘do what we say, not what we do’; ‘encourage us to think critically about things and discuss them, and then say it is not good to do so’ – I have still learned a lot,” a founder who goes by the psudonym Alan Scott told the Loudoun Times. “It was that encouragement to face the tough questions and not be afraid of the answers that actually helped me come to terms with my sexual orientation and reconcile it with my faith,” Scott noted.
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