Target: President Reggies Wenyika of Southwestern Christian University
Goal: Urge university to stop expulsion of gay student for marrying longtime girlfriend
A conservative Christian college in Oklahoma is under fire after the university expelled a student for marrying her longtime girlfriend. Christian Minard, 22, of Oklahoma City was just one semester away from graduating with a degree in sports management when a letter was mailed home to her parents saying that she was no longer welcome at the school because of her relationship with, her now wife, Kadyn Parks. The university argues that Minard violated the school’s “lifestyle covenant,” a document all students must sign which prohibits, among other things, homosexual behavior.
Although the couple had been dating for almost three years, and met at the Christian university, school administrators only recently became aware of her marriage because of photographs posted on Facebook. Minard, who married Parks in New Mexico where gay marriage is legal, is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is LGBT-affirming and grants its ministers permission to perform same-sex marriages. However, Southwestern Christian University, affiliated with the Pentecostal faith, strongly opposes homosexuality, thus putting the young student in a difficult position.
Further, Minard argues that consequences for violating the covenant are applied inconsistently, stating in an interview with CNN that, “…students violate parts of that covenant all the time, but they don’t get expelled…I didn’t even get a hearing, just a letter to my parents.” With just one month before the fall semester begins, Minard faces a dilemma, as no other university in her area offers a similar degree program, and she also stands to lose credits by transferring. She may also face having to pay student loans prematurely if she isn’t able to enroll in a university soon.
Minard, who is a Christian, believes that living a gay lifestyle shouldn’t prohibit you from obtaining a faith-based education. And she’s right. Sign the petition below to tell Southwestern Christian University not to stand in the way of a gay, Christian student’s educational goals.
Dear President Wenyika,
A student by the name of Christian Minard was recently expelled from your university for marrying her longtime girlfriend Kadyn Parks. Not only is this action appalling, but extremely discriminatory and spiteful, as the university chose to expel her just a semester shy of obtaining her degree. As a lesbian and a Christian, it is Minard’s right to acquire a faith-based education and it is unfair to stand in the way of her goals. Because of the university’s actions, Minard now faces undue stress and may have to face her student loan debt before she’s financially ready to do so.
It is naive to think that every student at your university will adhere to the strict standards of the covenant, and it doesn’t make them any less of a Christian for “violating” it—it simply makes them human. I urge you to readmit Christian Minard into your university and allow her to finish her degree program.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: mansatic via everystockphoto