The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

The Christian Jihad Continues

Posted by Daniel on Thursday, April 13, 2006

(Source: The Advocate & The Lexington Herald-Leader)

After writing about his boyfriend on his MySpace.com profile, a gay student at a small Baptist college in Kentucky was expelled last week. Sophomore Jason Johnson, who would have been stage-managing a production of As You Like It, instead was dismissed from the University of the Cumberlands because the school prohibits homosexuality and any sex outside of marriage, reports The Lexington Herald-Leader.

Administrators at the school, located in Williamsburg, confronted Johnson last Thursday about his MySpace page, asserting that it was evidence he was in violation of school policy forbidding homosexual conduct. He was required to leave the university that night and moved out of his dorm within hours.

“I was upset to the point that I couldn’t speak,” Johnson told the Herald-Leader. “I didn’t even want to ask about it. I wanted to be out of there.”

Since Johnson’s expulsion, his boyfriend, Zac Dreyer, has been publicizing what happened on his own MySpace profile, writing, “He is being asked to leave the university because he is gay. Help get the story out there so that all the gays and lesbians at the university will no longer have to live in secrecy, in fear of having their dreams crushed in front of them.”

In a statement released last week, University of the Cumberlands president Jim Taylor said that “students know the rules before they come to this institution,” although officials admitted that when Johnson enrolled in 2003, school policy did not specifically refer to being gay. It has since been amended.

Johnson is now considering legal action.

University Spokesman Larry Cockrum released a statement from Cumberlands President Jim Taylor saying the school had “followed our policies and procedures in keeping with our traditional denominational beliefs.” It continued, “University of the Cumberlands isn’t for everyone. We tell prospective students about our high standards before they come. We are different by design and are non-apologetic about our Christian beliefs.”

An earlier version of the statement released to WLEX, however, was worded slightly differently and included the following sentence: “There are places students with predispositions can go such as San Francisco and the left coast or to many of the state schools.”

The student policy in question regards sexual behavior. “Any student who engages in or promotes sexual behavior not consistent with Christian principles (including sex outside marriage and homosexuality) may be suspended or asked to withdraw from the University of the Cumberlands,” it says.

Cumberlands officials released another press statement April 10, saying simply, “In light of threatened litigation over University of the Cumberlands’ standards, our legal counsel has advised us to make no further comment.”

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