Pop-Punk Band Diet Cig Cancels Show Over College’s Gay Ban

In a statement, Messiah College said "we certainly respects Diet Cig's right to disagree with our position."

Post-punk duo Diet Cig has canceled a show at a college in Pennsylvania this week, citing the school’s policy forbidding “homosexual behavior” by students and staff.

Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images

On Twitter, Diet Cig’s Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman said they was dropping their November 29 show at Messiah College, a private Christian college in Mechanicsburg, because they “have no desire to support or benefit from an institution that discriminates against LGBT students/faculty/staff.”

Students at Messiah, which has a student body of about 3,300, are required to sign a “Community Covenant” banning alcohol and drugs, profanity, “occult practices,” sexual intercourse outside of marriage, and homosexual behavior.

In a statement, the school said it gave Luciano and Bowman information about its “ethos and values.”

“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.”

Fans won’t miss out, though: Another local venue, the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center, invited Diet Cig to perform on the 29th. “We’re super thankful to still be able to play this area and hope to see ya at the gig!” the band tweeted.

Though not unusual for a Christian college, Messiah’s stance on homosexuality has sparked controversy: In 2011, student Isaiah Thomas transferred out of the school after being harassed by students and a professor because he was gay.

Thomas had his wallet stolen and his student ID torn in half and urinated on, and received death threats via Facebook.

Kris Hardy

Perhaps more surprising is the caliber of acts Messiah College’s Student Activities Board (SAB) has brought to campus in recent years—including Katy Perry, Fun., Janelle Monáe, The Decemberists, Regina Spektor, Phantom Planet, Rilo Kiley, Jason Mraz and Bob Dylan.

Though many of these acts are allies, none took stance against the school’s discriminatory policy.

Below, watch the video for Diet Cig’s “Harvard”

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