campus life

But A Homosexual Student Group Would Violate Belmont University’s Christian Values

Gay students at Belmont University in Nashville thought creating a gay group on campus would be a wonderful idea. But they must’ve forgot about the school’s Christian values, which have succeeded in playing keep-away for more than two years.

Belmont Bridge Builders was denied recognition as a student group application by university officials. But the organization’s president Robbie Maris is left in the dark about why the group has been, News Channel 5 reports, “called divisive and problematic.” A pro-life student group didn’t have that problem; Belmont Students for Life was approved.

The LGBT group “will reflect the mission of Belmont University by empowering students of diverse backgrounds through assistance and aid unto gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and those who support them,” according to its mission statement. “B. Bridge Builders will strive to foster the discussion and examination of the Christian faith and LGBT-related issues, both as an intersection and a divide, through respectful means and diverse cultural, social, and faith-based perspectives. We uphold Jesus Christ as our ideal standard and model, and revere Christ’s promise: ‘blessed are the peacemakers.’ B. Bridge Builders will put forth means that will engage and transform our campus, and the world, with intellect, compassion, courage, and faith.”

Because installing LGBT student groups just seems like the worst idea ever. In place of a queer group, the university has created a one-hour discussion group that meets biweekly. Dr. Andrew Johnston, the student affairs dean, remarked in April when B Bridge Builders was first denied: “”Given the history of the type of campus that we are, we didn’t want to create a group to start a campus-wide organization around things that could be potentially divisive or difficult for the institution at this point.”

Even Steven, right?

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  • Jeff K.

    “Given the history of the type of campus that we are, we didn’t want to create a group to start a campus-wide organization around things that could be potentially divisive or difficult for the institution at this point.”

    Right. Because allowing a group whose aim is to make abortion illegal isn’t divisive at all.

  • tallskin2

    Is this a school for under 14 year olds, or a university??

    I don’t understand how a “university” can stop a group of students, who are over age 16, from forming an association.

  • Aaron in Honolulu

    What a bunch of bullshit.

  • Avenger

    Their school, their rules.

  • Steve

    Does Belmont U receive any Federal funds?
    The answer to that question is, almost certainly, yes. At least, some tuition is paid to Belmont from federal student loans or grants.

    The students may want to form a GSA, or clearly state that their proposed association would be a GSA.

    And, they may want to talk with a lawyer about whether or not the school may legally prohibit such associations.

  • Chuckleberry

    Why would Belmont conflate a student group with a bi-weekly discussion? They aren’t the same thing. Oh, wait–because in a bi-weekly discussion they can control who’s doing the talking and what message is being voiced. I’ve heard a little about this issue and would like to point out that it’s the administration’s selfish interest. The department of religion and most of the other students actually support the student group. Or could it be they’re worried they’ll lose sponsors since it always comes down to money? Human rights < the green seems to be the typical conservative understanding–just like Jesus…?

  • Daez

    Its a Christian school. The students that go there know its a Christian school. As a gay male, the first thing I think of when applying to college is not getting on my knees (to pray anyways). Seriously, the question should be why any self-respecting gay would ever go to such an institution.

  • Don't Like It?

    Belmont is a private institution. If you don’t like it, go somewhere where the federal government can step in and make the rules.

    Otherwise, shut up.

  • wendy

    Well done Robbie. The reality is there are glbt people of faith who attend faith-based institutions. And this is good. Respectful dialogue needs to happen in these places – and rather than being coerced from outside – it will be much more effective for such dialogue to be initiated and facilitated from within.
    Keep going Robbie! Keep taking the high road – and you will be the change you want to see.

  • the crustybastard

    Allowing gay groups would indeed violate the U’s Christian values of hate and intolerance.

  • customartist

    Why is a “Christian” School receiving Public Funds in the first place?

  • Bobby

    Maybe the gay students should think about putting their money into a less homophobic college.

  • DR

    As much as I’d like to say “go to a friendlier Christian school”, that’s the easy way out and such a school may not adequately represent the students’ faith(s).

    Wendy has it right; this dialogue (and fight) cannot stop.

    PS… while you fight the good fight, there’s nothing denying you the right to assemble just because the school won’t recognize you as a school-sponsored and supported group. Keep that in mind. The hour-long dialogues are a start, but it’s up to you and the Belmont community to create safe spaces wherever you can.

  • hephaestion

    I have a female friend who married a closeted gay man while they were students at Belmont years ago. They had kids together, then he came out and she was shattered. If a gay organization had existed at Belmont maybe her ex could have found the support he needed to come out before he asked her to marry him… and two lives would not have been shattered.

    These pseudo-Christian dorks always think that forcing gays to try to be straight is the key to happiness. Dumb-asses.

  • Student

    @Don’t Like It?:

    hur duuuuuur, if enough people complain it will make the school look bad and they will cave. thanks for playing uncle tom

  • Kaysey

    I am a graduate of Belmont University and I’m also an openly queer woman. Most of the gay and straight students at Belmont chose to go there because of the music and music business programs which are some of the best in the country. They’re forced to suffer through the religious bs in order to get the degree that they want.
    The LGBT kids at this school need this group, most of the students and a large group of professors would support it. Belmont is being ridiculous and stubborn, and unfortunately that can cause a lot of pain. We shouldn’t be dismissing these students for being brave and out in a place that makes if very clear they are not welcome or wanted.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    I agree, public pressure does wonders. As does major negative publicity and the possibility of potential students deciding to go study somewhere less uh, Christofascist.

    No. 7 · Daez — LOL! And I agree, the LAST thing most young gays heading to college wanna think about is prayer.

    Why some put themselves through this BS is beyond me.

  • Robbie


    Very interesting. Send them to the Bridge Builders fan page :D

  • Baxter

    As a private university, they have every right to stop students from forming an LGBT group. And LGBT students have every right not to go there. Vote with your dollar.

  • B

    No. 13 · DR wrote, ‘As much as I’d like to say “go to a friendlier Christian school”, that’s the easy way out and such a school may not adequately represent the students’ faith(s).’

    The problem with this is that, if the students’ faith(s) are of a homophobic variety, something obviously has to give, and it is a lot easier for the students to change faiths than to get the faiths to change.

    I.e., don’t join the Klan and expect to be well-received if you want form a subgroup that supports the NAACP.

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    Please show me where Jesus said anything at all about homosexuality.

  • Patrick

    Why would any self respected gay person go to such a hateful school?

  • Danton

    “In place of a queer group, the university has created a one-hour discussion group that meets biweekly.”

    Which is worse, a Christian college that discriminates against gay students, or a blog that calls those gay students queer?

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @Don’t Like It?: Well if Belmont doesn’t issue tax free bonds to build its school, doesn’t take Federal Financial Aid then they are a private school. Otherwise they are taxpayer funded.

  • Michael

    Belmont is a PRIVATE University. They have their own list of items they feel are either right or wrong. If your life choices aren’t in line with a Christian University then maybe you should go to a different school. Nobody is forcing you to go to school here. Get over yourselves and stop playing the gay card.

  • Jacob Woods

    I guess I can briefly understand the concern. But at the same time it is that exact concern that needs the bridge building. The problem is between LGBT rights and religion. If there is no way to bridge that gap, process goes no where. LGBT Awareness and truth goes no where. And it is all becoming rather frustrating.

  • JusticeontheRocks

    @Michael. Lots of parents tell their kids where to go to school. The conversation goes something like: “If you want my help you’re going to __________.” Learn a little more about life before getting so snarky.

  • Jacob Woods


    Maybe the idea of private schools needs to be abolished and socialism needs to take over the conceded and closed minded world. I have no clue what that means. Sounded offensive and intimidating though. I have to say though that you shouldn’t go to a private school if you are not going to be allowed to be gay there. But what that will ultimately lead to in the future, if it continues, is complete abomination, like today’s modern use of the term, hell, of LGBT students. If there becomes more private schools that believe incorrectly and inappropriately and immaturely that homosexuality is a bad “lifestyle” choice gays will probably start being ridiculed and murdered like happens in Uganda, Irag, and many other terrible places across the world where religion and false perception of homosexuality leads to the killing of human beings. That is a path I don’t want to go down.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    No. 28 · Jacob Woods

    Good point. Religion vs Basic Rights of Gay People is the conflict, no doubt. To some of us it’s a no-brainer.

    When it comes to religious persons or groups claiming discrimination over their right to VOCALLY damn other tax-paying Americans to Hell as sinful degenerates – I have no sympathy.

    Believe what you will, this is America after all. But one’s religion certainly stops at the tip of other’s rights. If my new-age religion believed the Catholics were evil minions of Satan which must be eliminated before Christ can return, there would be hell to pay by my kooky little church.

    Religion, with its varying degrees of kookiness, gets way too much respect in America.

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