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Woman Expelled from College Right Before Senior Year for Marrying Another Woman

Posted by on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:48 PM
  • 168 Replies

Student: I was expelled from Oklahoma school for marrying another woman

By Greg Botelho, Dave Stewart and Matthew Stucker, CNN
updated 7:46 PM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014

Kadyn Park, left, and Christian Minard are all smiles at their March 17 wedding in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Kadyn Park, left, and Christian Minard are all smiles at their March 17 wedding in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Woman went to Southwestern Christian University on a sports scholarship
  • Letter: An official says Minard's marriage to another woman violates school policy
  • Minard admits signing a morality pact, but thinks she's singled out for being lesbian
  • She says you can "have faith in God and live a gay lifestyle"

(CNN) -- First there was friendship. Then there was romance. After that there was marriage.

And now, at what would have been a few weeks from her senior year in college, Christian Minard finds herself expelled from school -- because the person she married is another woman.

In a letter from earlier this month that Minard shared with CNN, an administrator at Southwestern Christian University noted that he'd been told of Minard's same-sex marriage and saw pictures of it posted to Facebook.

Such a union is in apparent conflict with the "lifestyle covenant" of the university "that all students must agree and sign," he added.

"As an American and a Christian, I do respect your choice," the administrator wrote. "(But) I have to uphold the Lifestyle Covenant at SCU and confront you with our position.

"Due to this recent event, you will not be able to attend SCU in the future."

When asked to confirm that the school -- which describes itself as part of the "International Pentecostal Holiness" denomination -- sent the letter and to elaborate on the decision, the school's provost, Connie Sjoberg, said only that federal law "prohibits us from confirming if an individual is or has been a student at our institution."

Sjoberg added, "We therefore cannot comment on your specific request."

Did Minard sign the school's morality covenant? Yes, she concedes. But she still thinks her expulsion is unfair. Plenty of other students violate the contract in one way or another without being expelled, she says. Minard thinks she is singled out because she's a lesbian.

In addition to the emotional sting, the 22-year-old says she is now stuck personally -- not knowing what to do, or where to go next.

"I'm trying to figure out how and where I can graduate," she told CNN, noting that she'll have to start paying off her loans at the end of next year unless things change. "... 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."

What you need to know about same-sex marriage

Believes 'gay lifestyle' compatible with 'faith in God'

Located in the metropolitan Oklahoma City community of Bethany, Southwestern Christian University's website states the school's three core values are scholarship, service and spirit. The latter value includes "building a Christ-centered community," "honoring our Pentecostal Holiness heritage" and "respecting diversity and various Christian backgrounds."

Minard came to the school on scholarship for basketball, though her playing career was cut short after doctors told her -- after she'd suffered multiple concussions -- that she should avoid sports with physical contact.

"I stayed on without a scholarship," Minard said, "because I was so invested in the university and knew that some credits wouldn't transfer to other schools."

Meanwhile, her life was changing in other ways as well.

About 3½ years ago, she met her future spouse, Kadyn Park. They started out as friends, and romance blossomed over time. "We eventually fell in love and decided to get married," Minard said.

The couple wed March 17 in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- a state where same-sex marriage is legal.

She had planned to become a strength and conditioning coach. "Once I graduated," Minard said, "I was willing to go wherever life took me."

Her educational and professional path, though, is now far from clear.

Yet Minard feels that she's in the right place in her own spiritual journey.

Having grown up in the Lutheran Church, Minard notes that she "at first ... struggled" with the idea that her faith was at odds with her sexuality.

"I had questions, but I worked through those questions," she said. "And now I have a strong faith in God. And I believe you can still have faith in God and live a gay lifestyle."

by on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:48 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mrsary
by Bronze Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:54 PM
2 moms liked this
When I read the title I already knew it was some type of Christian school. Smh.
TCgirlatheart
by TC on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:56 PM
3 moms liked this
I am not religious by any means, but my understanding is that when you choose to go there, you need to abide by their rules. I have no idea if what the school did is legal or not.
That being said, it's sad to me that some religious institutions still cannot accept LGBT as fellow people of faith and belief.
I'm glad they brought attention to this, if only to help forward that kind of progress.
AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:57 PM
13 moms liked this

She signed the Lifestyle contract. What do you guys expect? What did SHE expect?

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee

Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:58 PM
6 moms liked this

While I think the school is morally wrong, she signed a morality clause.


AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:58 PM
4 moms liked this

It's absolutely legal. Catholic schools in particular frequently require teachers sign a "morality contract" or something of the sort - and then everybody acts surprised when a teacher breaks the contract and is fired.

Quoting TCgirlatheart: I am not religious by any means, but my understanding is that when you choose to go there, you need to abide by their rules. I have no idea if what the school did is legal or not. That being said, it's sad to me that some religious institutions still cannot accept LGBT as fellow people of faith and belief. I'm glad they brought attention to this, if only to help forward that kind of progress.


I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee

stringtheory
by Gold Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:58 PM
1 mom liked this
I hope another school offers a full transfer.
mrsary
by Bronze Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 8:59 PM
1 mom liked this
I've never heard of a Lifestyle contract til now!

Quoting AutymsMommy:

She signed the Lifestyle contract. What do you guys expect? What did SHE expect?

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jul. 12, 2014 at 9:00 PM

This:

Quoting stringtheory: I hope another school offers a full transfer.


JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 9:01 PM
1 mom liked this
I am not a Christian and I fully support marriage equality, but as a private school they are within their rights to enforce these sorts of rules.
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JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Jul. 12, 2014 at 9:01 PM
2 moms liked this
I hope she is able to find a good school to transfer to so that this is just a bump in the road, not a roadblock for her.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
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