The Washington Post

Homosexuality at Patrick Henry College? Never! Well, maybe a little. But strictly in the past.

Michael Farris, president of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville in western Loudoun County. He is shown here in his role as chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, speaking about his opposition to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Capitiol Hill last month. (Chip Somodevilla/GETTY IMAGES)

But then the president and founder of the school, Michael Farris, sent a threatening note to the bloggers, saying he would sue if they didn’t stop the unauthorized use of the college’s name. And now, Queer at Patrick Henry College is out there, blogospherically as well as sexually.

Trevor Baratko in the Loudoun Times-Mirror has the full story, and he spoke with both Farris and the anonymous bloggers. Farris told him homosexuals can’t exist at Patrick Henry and that he thought the blog was a hoax. The site apparently is blocked on the Patrick Henry wi-fi network. Baratko then met the bloggers and saw at least one genuine Patrick Henry diploma.

Last week, Farris sent the blog a note on its Facebook page, saying, “This page is in violation of our copyright of the name Patrick Henry College... you must remove this page at once. On Monday, we will began (sic) the legal steps to seek removal from Facebook and from the courts if necessary.”

The next day, Farris retracted his threat, also publicly on Facebook. The combination of threat/non-threat attracted the attention of other blogs, New York magazine and others, as well as a number of supportive messages for the blog on Facebook. The blog’s goal is to help create a support network for lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered-questioning (LGBTQ) students at Patrick Henry. We’ll see if they take advantage of this brief burst into the spotlight.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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