At Methodists Duke Divinity School, students seek more say on ethics code

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2003

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Some students at Methodist-affiliated Duke Divinity School want more opportunity to discuss an ethics policy that requires students and teachers to live in chastity,'' among other things.

Chastity is traditionally understood to mean faithfulness in marriage and celibacy for singles. Gay and lesbian seminarians are particularly concerned that they might violate the code if they have sexual relations.

Ethics professor Amy Laura Hall said the faculty unanimously agreed chastity could include faithful relations among gays and lesbians, though the code does not explain that.

The conduct covenant'' governing behavior goes into effect in the fall. It calls on students to show respect, honor friendships and be welcoming, hospitable and chaste.

The United Methodist Church does not ordain active gays and lesbians, bars same-sex union ceremonies and calls homosexual acts incompatible with Christian teaching.''

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