Christian College Tells Lesbian Student To Go Back In The Facebook Closet

Kiah Zabel is an out-and-proud lesbian but her school, the Christian-identified Rochester college in Rochester Hills, MI, wants her to stop mentioning her sexuality on her Facebook page.

Fox 2 reports that Zabel came out on the social-media site recently, posting a photo with the caption “Out…Proud…Lesbian.”

We guess administrators at Rochester don’t have much to do because Dean of Students Brian Cole sent Zabel a note telling her to take the photo down.

“‘Out…Proud…Lesbian’ is not really consistent with the heritage of Rochester College and has proven to already be disruptive among fellow students who are really bothered by it.”

Ah yes, the old “disruptive” excuse, which basically translates to “the comfort of other students comes before your needs.”

Rochester President Rubel Shelly told that Zabel’s orientation conflicts with the school’s right “to maintain its standards and values with consistency,” but that they wouldn’t seek to expel her.

“We do not bully or coerce. To the contrary, we are a community that values all its members and affirms the Golden Rule of treating others as we would wish to be treated.”

We have to imagine Shelly was laughing maniacally as she wrote those words.

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  • Christopher

    I am going to get slammed for saying this. But this is a Christian School, their codes of conduct also refer to disciplinary action for any type of premarital sex. While we may not agree with them, it is their religion. I fail to see how anyone could go to a conservative Christian school and think there would be OK to be out.

    They didn’t expel her, they didn’t send her to Ex-gay therapy, they asked her to take down a photo which was inconsistent with their religion, at a private religious school.

    If we expect people to respect our rights, we have to at least respect their rights to operate their school as they see fit, this girl experienced no harm. When religious wingnuts claim that we are infringing on their rights, our usual response is that we aren’t because we don’t ask their religion to recognize our relationships, but here we are claiming that a religious institution can’t ask for a behavior code amongst students

  • Kamuriie

    In this article: girl goes to homophobic, religious institution and is shocked at institutional homophobia.

    Transfer to a school that VALUES YOU! Don’t reward those people with your tuition money!

  • NovaNardis

    @Both of the above posters:

    It’s such a good thing that every comes out of the closet before going to college. Like that time I came out of the closet — or was even comfortable with my sexuality — before going to Villanova, which, as you said, is a private religious school and has every right to make me feel uncomfortable being myself.

    Oh wait. Those things didn’t happen? Not everyone understands their sexuality — let alone can make a major life decision based on it — in high school?

    Also @Christopher — you should know a lot better than to equate homosexuality with *just* sex. If this girl was caught in a bathroom stall in the library with another girl, or something, I could grant your point. As it is, I hardly see how the word ‘lesbian’ impinges on anyone’s freedom of religion.

  • Miss Understood

    @Christopher: @Christopher: They asked her to remove material from her personal Facebook page! This has nothing to do with them. Does anyone know if anti-discrimination laws in MI apply to this?

  • Ragmatical

    I agree with Miss Understood. Unless there are threats or maybe photographic evidence of things that went against their code of conduct on their school’s property they really have no business on her personal social network page.

  • PS

    We’d be having a slightly different discussion if we changed “sexual orientation” with race. Are religious schools able to ban blacks? How about those in interracial marriages?

    If we exempt religious institutions when it comes to “sexual orientation” (and not other areas like race) we are still living with the mentality that being treated as second class citizens because you are gay is ok.

  • On the other side...

    Shame, shame on Fox 2 news for not digging further on this stupid story and finding out the REAL TRUTH on what she has been doing.
    This unfortunetly is a big scam that she is creating. Nothing less. She is not and I repeat NOT GAY in any way. She knew that coming into this type of school is nothing like going to a community college, since she lived down the street from it, that it is a Christian College and they have strict rules. When she was accepted last year she and EVERYONE else had to sign a contract. Sofar she has broken every signle college rule. She has been in trouble atleast 7 times before for her behavior at college. She also has serious mental problems. Bi Polar, Cutting, suicidal, delusional, psychosis, delusional paraitosis and is a pathological liar. Has been in and out of mental hospitals half her life. This is her way of getting attention and will seek anyway to get it. She has no job, no money, no family so if she gets kicked off campus she would have nowhere to go. So just by luck, Oh MY look Im gay and just came out last week just before she was sent packing. Of course she now wants to sue the school. This is a scam that she is working on with her friend.

    He’s a letter from someone had posted:

    Let me begin by saying that I am a Senior at Rochester College. I have no issues with the Alternative Lifestyle community, and I am personally Pro-Free Marriage Selection. I would like to clarify things as I have seen them on campus.
    1. We attend a private institution that does NOT accept financial assistance from the govornment in any way.
    2. Upon admittance to the college you are required to sign a binding contract that is a statement that you will follow ALL rules set forth in the student handbook, and failure to follow these rules has consequences.
    3. While this college does have close ties with the Church of Christ, it is by no means run by it. It holds to a traditional Christian belief, but lets their students explore their own individuality.
    Personal Observations and Opinions
    I know of a few other students at the college that also have alternative lifestyles. The college was only asking for Kiah (who I know personally) to back off. She was not only posting facebook content but has been rather open around campus about her recent coming out, this has offended some students to see her openly walking around campus being romantic with her female friends. In the past she has also been very open about herself as a Cutter on facebook and on campus, and regularly talks about her injuries that she has inflicted on herself. The college did not ask her to not be homosexual, only to back off on how much she flaunts it on facebook and on campus. A group of students finds her behavior “offensive” and now the powers that be see a need for the offensive behavior to be stopped before it becomes more of a problem ON CAMPUS.
    I used to view Kiah as a friend, but after the past 2 years of overdramatic actions that have offended many people, multiple visits to the hospital for self inflicted wounds and suicide watches, and now this, things have changed. I have nothing against her coming out, but her doing so in such a strong way that the school needs to tell her to back off, then going to the news to FURTHER GET HER THE ATTENTION THAT SHE WANTS…… the problem is the girl, not the school. This coming from a person that has watched her bleed after her own cutting… she did not get the attention she wanted from coming out, now she is all over the news and is getting everything she hoped for…..

    This is what Kiah wrote on Fox 2 news::

    This is what she posted today.

    Kiah Marie Zabel

    Matt Maddox I specifically looked for a school with Christian values, this school may have been the wrong choice and I am becoming aware of that.

    Reply · Like

    · 52 minutes ago

    Well if thats true, then she clearly knows the school conduct code and what she signed up for, she’s breaking the rules and had NO intent to live by any Christian values.

    Kiah Marie Zabel

    The Statement of Commitment that I signed when coming to Rochester College says not to partake in homosexual activity. The definition of activity is: “the state of being active.” Being active would be having a girlfriend or having sex with another girl, since I am doing neither of those things I am not partaking in homosexual activity. I am only allowing my sexuality to be known. Therefore, I am NOT breaking the Statement of Commitment that I signed.

    Also right before the Fox 2 news was going to interview her, she had posted several You Tube videos of herself being drunk, swearing and threating the student body. She had her facebook open, it was not set on private. But she ended up deleting them right before and the reported did not interview anyone else cuz the school was on Spring Break. She likes to draw attention to herself. Also she had posted videos on facebook that are no way CHRISTIAN. Very disturbing antics.
    So please,dont give her what she craves and sorry to the anyone that she has offended for her lies.

  • Kate

    I agree Christopher. Secondly why would anyone that’s LGBT want to go to a Christian college or university knowing that they’re against LGBT people? Secondly it’s face book, she should have her profile private if she actually cares about her personal information not being out there for identity theft or just anyone to view.

  • Fellow student

    @On the other side…: When I heard this story, my jaw dropped. I know of other students who are gay who attend this school, but they do not post it all over facebook.Thanks for giving us the other side of the story…all I have heard is what the media says and it is against the college’s actions. It’s stupid how it is so one-sided.

    For everyone who thinks that the school made the wrong choice to ask her to remove what she posted, when we first register for classes, we must sign a form agreeing to stay away from certain behaviors. Students of Rochester College represent the school and we have a responsibility to give it a good image. If we were to participate in immoral behaviors and show them to the world, then we give the college a distorted image and take away its conservative image. If the school were to allow anyone to do whatever they want, then I believe the school would no longer be viewed as a strong moral religious institution.

    Rochester College is not cheap whatsoever. I CHOSE to spend more money to attend a school with high moral standards. I will abide by the rules. Also, classes that I have taken that explore the issue ALWAYS state both sides and are accepting of homosexuality, so there is no bias there. She can do what she wants, just not publically, and not on campus.

  • NovaNardis

    @Fellow student:

    If that is what your school is like, I feel sorry for you. Also, by asking gay people to live in the closet, you are by no means accepting of us. That’s like saying I am accepting of straight people, but I ask them to please not show it in public. Or that I am accepting of minorities, but only if their wear white-face in public.

  • the other Greg

    Frank Zappa said: “If you want to learn, go to a library. If you want to get laid, go to college.”

    Apparently not always true!

  • Huh ...

    If a black student started complaining about racism at Jefferson Davis University in rural Alabama, I’d just ask him, “Did you not see that they fly the Confederate flag on their campus? That the school motto is ‘The South Shall Rise Again’? That their course catalog has 10 seminars on what they call ‘The War of Northern Aggression’? What exactly were you expecting would happen? And why are you giving money or in any contributing to a school that claims the Southern cause was pure and noble?”

  • Katt

    Wait… so gay people should stay away from religious schools? Right. How about churches? Kosher restaurants? Subway cars where random ppl start preaching? Sidewalks in front of religious building? Let’s start putting signs that say “Straight Only”. You know that way the gays can’t say they didn’t know. What? Bad idea?

    You know what makes this discrimination, because I doubt the code of student conduct enforces all the Biblical/Christian values. How many heterosexual couples are fornication and behaving all sorts of “unGodly” ways. Like most “Christians” these days, they like to pick and choose. If you choose to pick on someone because of their minority status, that is just wrong! So unless they start asking girls to “take those pictures down, that blouse is made of mixed fabric” and telling guys to “stop posting about football, to touch the skin of a dead pig is an abomination.” I don’t see why they have the right to bother her because she is a lesbian.

  • Chad

    What kind of idiot are u? At what point was she ever accused of premarital sex, or for that fact sex of any kind. She said she was gay, not an orgy lovin, sex machine looking to advance promiscuity.
    U sir r insane!!!

  • Chad

    @Fellow student:
    Behaviors??!!!!!!! Since when is announcing that u r gay a “behavior” the school prevents? So when I say I’m “straight” that must mean I’m a happily married person with two kids and a white picket fence where as to be gay is to be a sex-aholic, with enough partners to start a football team. Leave ur stereotypes, preconceived notions and just plain ole ignorance at home.

  • cwm

    @On the other side…:

    She also has serious mental problems. Bi Polar, Cutting, suicidal, delusional, psychosis, delusional paraitosis and is a pathological liar.

    Wonder whether there could be a bit of projection going on? This post itself appears disordered: rather like the writing of someone going manic, perhaps. No I can’t diagnose over the ‘net. But I’m not unfamiliar with this shit (my mother was bipolar), and I don’t get quite so wordy and rambling even on my worst days.

    You call her “delusional” twice, then follow it up with WTF “paraitosis”? Sounds like a portmanteau of paranoia, halitosis and pariah. I know half the DSM diagnostic manual, and I’ve never heard of anything remotely close to this “word.”

  • cwm

    @Fellow student:

    I know of other students who are gay who attend this school, but they do not post it all over facebook.

    “All over”? Facebook’s total membership is approaching the billion mark. Writing “out proud lesbian”–in one’s personal profile–is hardly exhibitionism.

  • Lisa C

    @Christopher: but it was on fb they have no right to tell her what she can and cant do on her fb

  • J Stratford

    Private Golf Country Clubs can exclude women
    Private Religious schools can exclude gays
    As long as they don’t take government money, they should not be forced to accept anything. I dont care. They can associate with themselves all they want

  • cwm

    @J Stratford: can private schools exclude blacks, or other races they don’t like?

    can they exclude groups which seem arbitrary (but for which there is a historical basis), such as the left-handed?

Comments are closed.