A year after volleyball teammates at a conservative Christian college came out as gay and became “some of the most-liked guys on campus,” Erskine College publicly condemned same-sex relationships and called them sinful.
In their official statement, the South Carolina college stated: “Christ affirms that marital union is to be between a man and a woman (Matt 19:4-6). The Bible teaches that monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is God’s intended design for humanity and that sexual intimacy has its proper place only within the context of marriage (1 Thes. 4:305, Col. 3:5-7). 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 (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Tim. 1:9-11).”
Last year, Drew Davis and Juan Varona came out and were embraced by teammates, coaches, teachers, and fellow students.
“I’ve never had a team so close,” Davis said of when he came out to his team. “They’re like brothers to me. They are so accepting, and that has really made me more confident in myself.”
After hearing the news about the college condemning same-sex relationships, Varona said he is shocked.
“I had never had any hints from the college that they would release a statement like that,” he said. “I’ve always been treated well. I feel everybody is moving toward equality and getting more accepting. It’s like they’re putting it in bold that they don’t like that.”
Though Varona quit the volleyball team a few weeks before the announcement for personal reasons, he said he would not have continued with the Erskine team anyway.
“I wouldn’t feel right representing Erskine knowing they don’t represent or support me,” Varona said.
Davis still plays for the team, but declined to be interviewed.
“I understand the religious stand on adultery, which is part of the Ten Commandments in the Bible, and that would apply to heterosexual and homosexual people,” Varona said. “But when I saw the mention of sexual orientation being an issue, it just made me sad and worried for other gay people who might be struggling to confidence to come out.”