• Petitioned Dr. Erik Thoennes
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Biblical Studies Professor at Biola University
Dr. Erik Thoennes
See response
Biola Associated Students
President of Biola University
Barry Corey

Apologize for Homophobic, Transphobic, and Racist Rant

    1. Jos Charles
    2. Petition by

      Jos Charles

      Santa Ana, CA

Being gay is tantamount to being racist according to a professor at Biola University—a private Christian university located in La Mirada, California. In response to the recently formed Biola Queer Underground, a pro-LGBTQ group on campus, administration hosted a panel discussion entitled Sexuality Matters. Not only did the discussion not include an LGBTQ-inclusive perspective, but one of the panelists, Dr. Erik Thoennes—a white, cisgender straight professor—likened homosexuality to racism.

Going so far as to say LGBTQ identities are like “racist identities,” he asked the audience to “imagine if there was the Biola Racist Underground” and how they would react. When questioned as to why there was not one “Christian pro-gay” perspective on the panel he responded, “I wouldn’t want a pro-racist person on this panel if the question were racism.” In addition to these comments, Dr. Thoennes (who was Biola's Professor of the Year in 2003 and 2007) also referred to trans* identity as a “dysfunction” and “perversion.”

These comments not only propagate homophobia, transphobia, and a distorted view of racism, but they also directly harm the lives of LGBTQ students at Biola—students who can't even speak out about their identities for the fear of expulsion. This is not acceptable. We ask Dr. Erik Thoennes to apologize for his deeply harmful homophobic, transphobic, and racist comments; we also ask Biola University to apologize for its lack of Christian LGBTQ affirming voices present in this dialogue and to commit itself to the inclusion of such perspectives in the future.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. Decision-maker Dr. Erik Thoennes responds:

      Dr. Erik Thoennes

      This petition is surprising to me given the content of what Dr. Thoennes actually stated. To claim that he stated anything close to the opening statement of the petition, "Being gay is tantamount to being racist," or that he "likened homo...

    3. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Jeffry Neuhouser UPLAND, IN
      • 8 months ago

      I am a gay Christian.

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 11 months ago

      I think feminists are unaware of the tremendous extent

      of the role of women in history.

      - Vivienne Westwood

      Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it

      on a moral pedestal until some brash feminists pointed out,

      about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the

      career ladder nonexistent.

      - Barbara Ehrenreich

      Men should stop treating feminists like ladies,

      and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be.

      - Phyllis Schlafly

      Our mothers' generation fought so hard to change things

      and we're the first generation to benefit.

      And now you get girls in their twenties who say they're not feminists.

      - Kristin Davis

      Women who love women are Lesbians.

      Men, because they can only think of women in sexual terms,

      define Lesbian as sex between women.

      - Rita Mae Brown

      • about 1 year ago

      As a gay student at a different christian university, words hurt more than you know. Especially from those in power, this is absolutely unacceptable.

    • Jessica Anderson COVINGTON, LA
      • about 1 year ago
    • Justin Johnson AURORA, CO
      • over 1 year ago

      Love Conquers Hate.


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