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Defining ethics down

National | A new ethics code greeted the nearly 500 students at United Methodist-related Duke Divinity School when they returned from spring break.

Issue: "Baghdad set free," April 19, 2003

A new ethics code greeted the nearly 500 students at United Methodist-related Duke Divinity School when they returned from spring break. It didn't go over well with everybody.

The "conduct covenant" covers the usual bases: no stealing, cheating, or plagiarizing. It calls on students to live in Christian community and to be accountable to one another, open to judgment, to show respect and honor friendships. It also calls on them to be welcoming, hospitable, and "chaste."

Gays and lesbians on campus had a problem with that word. Did it mean gays and lesbians would violate the code if they had sex?

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Not to worry. Ethics professor Amy Laura Hall said the faculty unanimously agreed that chastity could include sexual relations among homosexuals.

Edward E. Plowman
Edward E. Plowman

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