Florida College Cancels Concert Over Singer's Sexuality

A Christian college in Florida abruptly canceled a concert by an internationally renowned a capella group over concerns about its members LGBTQ lifestyle, the group claimed on social media Monday.

In a Facebook post, The King's Singers—a six-member choral group established in 1968—claimed the concert's organizers at Pensacola Christian College canceled the February 11 performance at the school with just two hours' notice amid "'concerns' about the 'lifestyle' of some members of the group."

Correspondence with students and members of the public later revealed the cancellation had to do with the sexuality of some members of the group, they claimed—an unusual development given that the group previously performed at the school, and that the group's music and website lack any allusions to the LGBTQ community.

A sign outside of Pensacola Christian College's campus in Pensacola, Florida. The school abruptly canceled a concert by an internationally renowned a capella group over concerns about its members' LGBTQ lifestyle, the group said Monday. Provided Photo / Facebook

"We entered into the engagement with the knowledge that this is a fundamentalist Christian institution," a letter from the group read. "Our belief is that music can build a common language that allows people with different views and perspectives to come together.

"This is the first time that anything other than bad weather, the pandemic or war has caused a concert cancellation in our 50-year-history. We are disappointed not to have been able to share our music and our mission of finding harmony with over 4,000 students of the college and the wider Pensacola community. We hope that any conversations that follow might encourage a greater sense of love, acceptance, and inclusion."

Inicia sesión en Facebook para empezar a compartir y conectar con tus amigos, familiares y las personas que conoces.

Newsweek reached out to Pensacola Christian College for comment.

The school posted a statement Monday on social media saying that it cannot "knowingly" endorse anything that violates scripture—a position aligning with a statement arguing that scripture "forbids any form of sexual immorality including adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography" posted on the school's website.

"PCC canceled a concert with The King's Singers upon learning that one of the artists openly maintained a lifestyle that contradicts Scripture," the statement read. "The highly talented musicians were treated with dignity and respect when informed of the cancellation. The artists stated their understanding and acceptance of the change and were given full remuneration."

It's not the first time the fundamentalist Christian school—which was not formally accredited until 2013—has been the subject of controversy for its position on social issues.

A blog post first reported by the Pensacola News Journal in 2014 cited several anonymous sources who claimed that the school—which has a notoriously rigid "demerit" system—allegedly ignored them when they claimed to be victims of sexual assault. (The school forcefully denied the claims in a pair of statements at the time.)

The school also gained notoriety for some of its course offerings, including its stated belief that Earth is 6,000 years old.

The school is also known for its rigid social structure, including a code limiting acceptable facial hair and banning female students from wearing pants—including blue jeans—outside of the residence halls, according to the student handbook.

Other reports showed that the school has gone as far as censoring nudity in historic paintings in textbooks, according to accounts from some former students.