Christian University Yanks Gay Nurse's Grad School Acceptance

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday July 29, 2020

A private Christian university that receives federal funding yanked the acceptance of an incoming graduate student, a highly qualified ICU nurse, because the student in question is a gay man who is engaged to be married to another man — a status that is reflected on his Facebook page.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Alex Duron had applied to Union University, which is located in Jackson, Tennessee, and been accepted into a master's program. But shortly before he was set to begin the program, the news article said, Duron got a letter from Union University, informing him that he was no longer invited to attend the school because he's gay.

"Your request for graduate housing and your social media profile, including your intent to live with your partner, indicates your unwillingness to abide by the commitment you made" when Duron signed the university's "community values statements," the letter told the shocked student.

The "community values statements" in question claim that intimate relations between same-sex couples — even legally married couples — are "sexually impure." The statements also claim that "God's definition" of marriage is limited to one man and one woman. Moreover, the university's "community values statements" take a rigid, "no homo promo"-style stance against LGBTQ people.

The statements read, in part:

"The promotion, advocacy, defense or ongoing practice of a homosexual lifestyle (including same-sex dating behaviors) is also contrary to our community values."

The statements also say:

"Homosexual behaviors, even in the context of a marriage, remain outside Union's community values."

Duron contended that he did not know what the values statements would mean when he signed them, and the university's virulent anti-LGBTQ stance should have been made plain. Duron told the media: "There was not even a hint of these views when I interviewed to be a student."

"I was in complete disbelief when they took away the offer."

The school, not surprisingly, cast Duron's last-minute, post-acceptance rejection as a matter of "standards of behavior," reported The Jackson Sun, with the university issuing a statement about Duron's rejection that said:

"We love our students and want them to thrive and succeed, and we believe that a standard of conduct that honors God and submits to his authority is an important part of that success."

Duron took to Facebook to share the news — and to explain why he disagreed with the university's treatment of him.

"My God taught me to love they neighbor (Leviticus 19:18) and not to judge as is told in the book of Matthew," Duron posted.

This weekend I received very bad news regarding the institution I chose for my continued education. It turns out that a...Posted by Alex Duron on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The post went on to add:

"What has happened to me is not the worst part. Did you know that this is 100% Legal? Did you know that Union University is not a fully private school and accepts federal funding? Did you know that your taxes are allowing them to discriminate against LGBTQ+ and their allies?"

Added Duron: "Friends understand that I am doing fine and I have moved on from this. I have strong support all around me and I know my worth. Continuing to push forward but recognizing that gay discrimination lies all around us."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments on Facebook