Thursday February 26th, 2015

A college in South Carolina with at least two openly gay athletes has issued a statement condemning homosexuality. 

Erskine College, a Division II school in the small town of Due West, S.C., issued a statement saying all students are expected to follow the Bible's teachings about sexuality.

We believe the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside the covenant of marriage is sinful and therefore ultimately destructive to the parties involved. As a Christian academic community, and in light of our institutional mission, members of the Erskine community are expected to follow the teachings of scripture concerning matters of human sexuality and institutional decisions will be made in light of this position... Sexual relations outside of marriage or between persons of the same sex are spoken of in scripture as sin and contrary to the will of the Creator.

Last March, Outsports profiled two gay men's volleyball players at Erskine, Drew Davis and Juan Varona. Davis told Outsports there was only one instance where his sexuality was not accepted by his fellow students. Varona told Outsports some students have said he changed their views on homosexuality.

"The release of this statement makes me disappointed because I have never received anything but kind treatment from everyone at this school, and my sexual orientation is no secret. So it took me by surprise," Varona told Outsports on Thursday. 

South Carolina is one of 38 states where same-sex marriage is legal. 

Erskine is affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, a small Christian denomination based in the South.

The Erksine volleyball team is 9-3 this season. Last season, Erskine won its conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament, which only features six teams. The tournament combines Division I and Division II programs. Erskine lost, 3-0, to Stanford. 

The school issued a statement on Friday clarifying its original statement. 

"This statement describes a position," the school said. "It does not prescribe a policy and does not ‘ban’ any individual or class of individuals from attending Erskine. No students have been asked to leave Erskine based on this statement."

This post has been updated after the release of the school's follow-up statement.

- Dan Gartland

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