A Christian college in Oklahoma has expelled a student for marrying her female partner, with the student one semester away from receiving her degree.
Christian Minard, 22, of Oklahoma City, says a letter came to her parents’ home last Wednesday from Southwestern Christian University saying she was no longer welcome at the school because her relationship violated the “lifestyle covenant” all students must sign, which prohibits, among other things, “homosexual behavior,” reports Religion News Service.
Minard married Kadyn Parks in Albuquerque March 17, but school administrators became aware of her marriage only recently because of pictures posted on Facebook. Same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico, and Minard is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is LGBT-affirming and allows ministers to perform same-sex weddings.
But Southwestern Christian University, located in Bethany, Okla., is affiliated with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, which strongly opposes homosexuality. The covenant that students sign prohibits same-sex relationships along with various other types of sexual activity, plus use of alcohol, tobacco, or pornography.
Minard said she was aware she had violated the covenant but argued that it is applied inconsistently. “Students violate parts of that covenant all the time, but they don’t get expelled,” she told Religion News Service. “I didn’t even get a hearing, just a letter to my parents.”
Now Minard, who is a semester short of a degree in sports management, faces a dilemma, as no other university in her area offers a similar program, and she stands to lose elective credits by transferring.
“I’m trying to figure out how and where I can graduate,” she told CNN, adding that she may have to begin paying off her student loans soon if she doesn’t get into another school. “It’s going to be hard to get into classes that may be full, because they gave me very little notice before the fall semester starts,” she noted.
Officials at Southwestern Christian University declined comment on the situation, citing privacy law. Watch the CNN report below.