Alleged Course on "Homosexuality as Gateway Drug" Brews Storm

By Will Godfrey 11/16/11

A "course" advertised at homophobic Baylor University in Texas would apparently have linked being gay to drug use.

The title that appeared on Baylor's
"Course Listings" page.
Photo via

Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has caused outrage over the past few days for apparently advertising a course entitled "Homosexuality as Gateway Drug" on its website. Baylor, which is the largest Baptist university in the country, with 15,000 students, claims the "course"—posted under "Course Listings"—was actually meant to be an independent study, proposed by one student for investigation and supervised by Assistant Professor of Sociology Martha Sherman. In any case the title was hastily changed after it was picked up by websites such as Buzzfeed: it now reads, "Family Studies." Baylor—which has a policy against "engaging in homosexual acts," on pain of expulsion—refused to grant a charter to a student sexual identity forum earlier this year. Samantha Jones, president of the forum at the time, described a "lingering culture of fear" for gay students at the school. But damaging attitudes to sexuality and addiction reach right to the top in Texas: Governor Rick Perry made a moral comparison between homosexuality and alcoholism in his 2008 book, On My Honor, which advocates sexual abstinence for gay people.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.