Pop-punk band Diet Cig has canceled its scheduled appearance at Messiah College due to the college's "really serious anti-LGBT policies." The band has stated they have "no desire to support or benefit from an institution that discriminates against LGBT students/faculty/staff."
The band cited a passage in the student handbook that reads: "students who experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay or lesbian are expected to refrain from 'same-sex sexual expression' as it is embodied in culturally contextual practices (e.g., identifying as a couple or exhibiting expressions of physical intimacy)." Furthermore, heterosexual couples are expected to refrain from sexual intimacy as well, but are permitted to openly date.
Messiah College had given information to Diet Cig about the college's "ethos and values" in its contract and added that "in today's pluralistic society, we understand that there are many who do not share the college's traditional Christian perspective on human sexuality. In that regard, the college certainly respects Diet Cig's right to disagree with our position, and to decline our offer to perform here. It is our hope that these types of situations build a stronger mutual understanding and respect of each other's values and convictions."
There has been a cascade of canceled performances and speeches across U.S. college and university campuses this year and this is not the first time musicians have spoken out against a college's same-sex policies. Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter has similarly protested and refuses to play at the college "unless it changes its policy against homosexual behavior."