The Baylor Lariat, the student newspaper at Baylor University, is criticizing reports of a course listing offered in the school’s sociology department called “Homosexuality as a gateway drug,” decrying the reports as “inaccurate reporting” and “cheap shots.”
The Lariat defends the course as a legitimate field of study and notes that the course is an independent study that is not open to the student body.
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues do exist in society,” Lariat news editor Ashley Ohriner wrote. “A sociology thesis exploring the topic is appropriate by any account.”
Studying LGBT issues in a conservative environment is indeed an appropriate topic of study. Titling the study “Homosexuality as a gateway drug” tells us what the conclusions will be.
Patti Fink, a Baylor alum and prominent LGBT activist in Dallas, asked, “Gateway to what? Polygamy? Bestiality? Cocaine?”
Karen Click, director of the Southern Methodist University Women’s Center, said, “I am not aware of a similar course being offered at SMU.”
Noting SMU’s place on the Princeton Review‘s list of the country’s most homophobic schools and the fact that Baylor dropped off the most recent survey, Click said, “Does that fit with Baylor’s ranking?”
As outraged as Baylor Lariat staffers and school officials may be at the “blatant disregard for accurate reporting” that they have seen relating to this independent study, they seem to have no problem with the original thesis comparing sexual orientation to drug use. The article notes that the class name has been changed. But the fact that a faculty member and the sociology department chair approved the title and it got into the course catalog, speaks volumes about the school’s attitude toward its LGBT students, faculty, staff and alumni.