Kentucky University Expels Student for Coming Out on MySpace

Sat. April 15, 2006 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Gay rights group wants funding denied to KY Baptist university for discrimination of gay student

Lexington, KY - Students at Kentucky’s University of the Cumberlands, a small Baptist-affiliated school in Williamsburg, Kentucky, are offering mixed reactions as school officials have expelled a students for announcing on a popular online blog site that he is gay.

Cumberlands sophomore Jason Johnson, 20, was expelled Thursday after for writing he is gay on his profile.

"I was shown a photograph of my [] page," Johnson said during an interview with WLEX-TV. "They asked if me if it was my page. I told them it was, and then they asked me to leave campus."

In a statement released last week, the university's president, Jim Taylor, said students at Cumberlands are held to a "higher standard" and "there are places students with predispositions can go such as San Francisco and the left coast."

School officials have since remained quiet saying they don't discuss individual students.

A Kentucky gay-rights group is calling on Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher to veto $11 million in state funding for a pharmacy school at the University of the Cumberlands.

"Discrimination is on its face wrong. Funding it with state tax dollars is unacceptable," Christina Gilgor, executive director of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, told reporters. "We feel that if our tax dollars are going to fund an institution it should give equal opportunity to all students."

University of the Cumberlands senior Renee Kuder said some students are publicly questioning the school's values. "They're being hypocritical, by Christian standards," she wrote on a myspace blog in support of Jason. "If we love each other, accept each other for who we are, why are they kicking him out?"

Johnson who is on the dean's list will look for another institution to attend. And he'll consider offers from Kentucky schools, as well as "left coast" schools.