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Dartmouth College Ousts Homophobe As “Moral Spokesperson”

Last week, Queerty reported on a scandal that Dartmouth was trying to keep quiet.

In July, the gay-friendly Ivy League college appointed bishop James Tengatenga to head their Tucker Foundation, which serves to “educate Dartmouth students for lives of purpose and ethical leadership, rooted in service, spirituality, and social justice.” Tengatenga would also assume the role of “moral spokesperson” for the college.

The only problem: Tengatenga has a long history of making antigay statements.

For the most part, Dartmouth’s public affairs team did a good job at keeping the story under wraps. Queerty’s article made the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and throughout Dartmouth’s alumni community, and on Wednesday, Dartmouth’s President, Philip J. Hanlon, released a statement saying Tengatenga’s job offer had officially been rescinded.

Wrote Hanlon:

[F]ollowing much reflection and consultation with senior leaders at Dartmouth, it has become clear to me that Dr. Tengatenga’s past comments about homosexuality and the uncertainty and controversy they created have compromised his ability to serve effectively as dean of Tucker.

The foundation and Dartmouth’s commitment to inclusion are too important to be mired in discord over this appointment. Consequently, we have decided not to move forward with the appointment of Dr. Tengatenga as dean of the Tucker Foundation.

While we certainly don’t wish Tengatenga any ill-will, perhaps this will serve as a lesson to him and others that promoting intolerance and homophobia doesn’t just make you look like a jackass, it can cost you your job.

Kudos to Hanlon for doing the right thing.