An optional email survey sent to every student at the University of Kentucky is gaining attention after the conservative student website Campus Reform reported that University Health Services asked questions of students relating to their religion, the ability to change one's sexual orientation, and the morality of LGB identities.
The survey began in a benign fashion, asking students how long they waited to be seen on an average visit to the campus health center. Students who completed the survey were entered into a drawing for a $5 gift card. The survey, which university officials confirmed was sent from employees at University Health Services, ostensibly sought to gather student "input on health care services for students at the University of Kentucky."
But then the survey asked students about their sexual orientation and religious beliefs, and the questions get invasive and specific to LGB students, according to Campus Reform.
Students who indicated that they identify as heterosexual were asked to register how strongly they agree or disagree with statements like "Male homosexuality is a perversion," "The idea of gay marriage is ridiculous to me," "Homosexuality is a mental illness," and "Homosexuality is a sin." Straight students were also offered a chance to agree or disagree that "A woman who is a lesbian is just as likely to be a good person as anyone else."
Students who indicated that they were gay, lesbian, or bisexual were offered a different set of statements with which to agree or disagree, including "If it were possible, I would choose to be straight."
A spokesman for the university told Campus Reform the survey results were confidential, though students reported no guarantee of such privacy listed anywhere on the survey and noted that the form provides a unique link for each user and does not disclose who will be examining results.
Jay Blanton, the university spokesman who issued a statement to Campus Reform, said, "The intent of the survey was to understand better the utilization of university health services on the part of LGBT students."
Neither Campus Reform nor LGBT site Back2Stonewall, which picked up the story, reported any questions on the survey addressing the needs of transgender or gender-nonconforming students.