An LGBT alumni group has criticized the conservative Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, over a course which misclassifies homosexuality as a “deviant behavior,” in violation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

According to Inside Higher Education, the university first responded to the alumni complaint by threatening the group with legal action for using the university’s name in its own name, group literature, and activities.

Then, after the alumni group adjusted its name, and in response to questions from IHE, the university responded that academic freedom permits the course to adopt its perspective.

But the university added that the university opposes “the promotion of propositions and values contrary to Catholic teaching,” even when that teaching is contrary to academic and professional standards.

It appears that the university is only as academically free as the Vatican requires it to be.