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Baylor University removes ‘homosexual acts’ from school’s code of misconduct

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The world’s largest Baptist university, Baylor, has dropped language in its sexual misconduct policy that punished those who engaged in homosexual acts, a change the socially conservative school said better reflects its values as “a caring community.”

Baylor, in the central Texas city of Waco, had been one of a handful of religious U.S. colleges and universities that allowed for the dismissal of students, and sometimes staff, for homosexuality.

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Baylor has removed “homosexual acts” as a punishable offense in its sexual misconduct policy, an official said on Tuesday. The policy also mandated disciplinary action for sexual assault, incest, adultery and fornication.

“These changes were made because we didn’t believe the language reflected the university’s caring community,” Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman wrote in an email.

Dozens of colleges have provisions that are seen as discriminatory against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, ranging from housing bias to blocking the formation of LGBT student groups, gay rights advocates said.

The new policy endorsed by the university’s board in May states, “Baylor will be guided by the biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity.”

The university, which has about 14,000 undergraduates, did not say if it would allow married same-sex couples among its ranks after the U.S. Supreme Court last month ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states.

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“You can’t continue to have a college that is seen as hateful, that is seen as discriminatory toward gay people, regardless of whether that college be Christian or otherwise,” said Shane Windmeyer, the executive director of Campus Pride, which promotes LGBT life at universities.

One of the better-known Baylor graduates, basketball player Brittney Griner, is also one of the best known U.S. lesbian athletes. In her autobiography she speaks of the frustration of masking her sexuality while attending the school from 2009 to 2013.

“They are more than happy to benefit from the success of their gay athletes. That is, as long as those gay athletes don’t talk about being gay,” she wrote in her autobiography “In My Skin: My Life on and Off the Basketball Court.”

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(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bill Trott)


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Trump is enacting the presidency ‘George Wallace never had’: Conservative columnist

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On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot tore into President Donald Trump's legacy on race.

"We know how a normal president responds when a white police officer ignites furious protests by killing a black man. It is the way President Barack Obama responded in 2014 after a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer who had fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the National Guard had to be called in to deal with looting and fires," wrote Boot. "Obama expressed sympathy for the protesters — their anger, he noted, was 'rooted in realities that have existed in this country for a long time' — while making clear that he had no sympathy with violence: 'Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk — that’s destructive and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts. And people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts.'"

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White House goes into lockdown as George Floyd protests in DC rage hotter

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On Friday, CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang reported that the White House has now issued lockdown orders.

The development comes as protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota have spread to Washington, D.C. and crowds are growing angrier. Earlier in the evening, a protester scaled the wall of a federal building and spray-painted an obscene anti-Trump message above a window.

The White House is currently under lockdown orders. https://t.co/LasnCIjkum

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‘Virtual terrorism’: Far-right trolls are targeting marginalized groups on Zoom calls

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On May 14, thirty-one residents of an East Oakland neighborhood joined a videoconference call to meet with their neighborhood services coordinator to hear updates about upcoming community events and resources available to residents; the meetings, which took place regularly in person prior to the pandemic, recently transitioned to virtual videoconferencing app Zoom. Then, five minutes into the call, the number of attendees jumped up to 72.
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