Officials at a Tennessee university have rescinded their offer of acceptance to a student nurse after they discovered he was engaged to a man.
Alex Duron, 38, was due to join a master’s program in nurse anesthesia at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Classes for the three-year course start July 27. Duron says he applied to the evangelical university because he’d heard good things about this particular program and believed it would benefit his career. He was excited to be accepted.
However, on Tuesday, in a message he posted to Facebook, Duron revealed the university had taken back the offer just a week before he was due to relocate
“This weekend I received very bad news regarding the institution I chose for my continued education,” Duron wrote. “It turns out that a faith-informed education from Union University is not God’s plan for me, because Union University is not “informed” enough to not recognize that bigotry masked as religion is not Christian at all. My God taught me to love thy neighbor (Leviticus 19:18) and not to judge as is told in the book of Matthew.
“I am writing to let the public know that this is not ok.”
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Duron shared a screenshot of the letter he received from the university.
It stated: “Your request for graduate housing and your social media profile, including your intent to live with your partner, indicates your unwillingness to abide by the commitment you made in signing (the university’s community values statements).”
The lengthy ‘values statement’ lays out the Christian university’s beliefs and expectations of students.
The document says the institution will not tolerate, “Sexually impure relationships”, which, “include but are not limited to participation in or appearance of engaging in premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexual activities, or cohabitation.”
Duron told the Jackson Sun the letter had turned his plans upside down.
“I was caught completely off guard. I have altered my whole life. I had quit my job, sold a lot of my stuff and was ready to move.”
He said that he was never asked about his sexuality during the interview stage. Duron says he planned to live on campus in a dorm with other students. He does not know why the university thought he would be living with his fiancé. The two men got engaged in January, but Duron’s partner did not plan on moving to Jackson. It is unknown why the university felt the need to go through Duron’s social media accounts.
Duron said he signed the ‘values statement’ in haste, saying the university had sent it to him and requested he sign it immediately.
“There was not even a hint of these views when I interviewed to be a student.”
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Responding to the story hitting the news, the University issued a statement saying it stood by its decision.
“As a Christian institution, Union University has standards of behavior for its faculty, staff, and students that are consistent with biblical teaching and historic, orthodox Christian practice.
“We love our students and want them to thrive and succeed, and we believe that a standard of conduct that honors God and submits to his authority is an important part of that success. All students who apply to Union University sign a statement saying they will comply with the university’s values. Those students who fail to abide by those values – or who show no intention of attempting to do so – are subject to disciplinary measures that can include dismissal from the university.”
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In his Facebook posting, Duron highlighted the fact Union University receives some federal funding. According to the Charlotte Observer, the Tennessee Baptist-affiliated private university has 3,100 students. Student fees average $45,000 a year. To lower this cost, the university receives around $40million annually from the U.S. government.
As a Christian institution, Union is legally exempt from following Title IX regulations prohibiting places of education discriminating based on sex and sexual orientation.
Duron told the Jackson Sun, “This is the first time I’ve been discriminated against and frankly I can’t believe this still happens.”
He has been heartened by the support he has received from many people to his original Facebook posting. Queerty has reached out to him for further comment.
Submit to god’s authority. Yea, right. Freaks.
Who would want a nurse from an evangelical university?
I don’t want a nurse that doesn’t believe in science, or evolution, or who thinks that prayer is going to heal a wound, not antibiotics and clean dressings.
Amen to that!
He applied to an evangelical university – what did he expect? It’s wrong, sure, but they can do it.
And what exactly did he expect?
A few thoughts: first, no institution that receives federal tax dollars should discriminate against anyone. So this private university needs either to give up all of those federal dollars and subsist on private funding, or it needs to end what is clearly LGBTQ-related discrimination immediately. I hope Duron explores this with a lawyer, and the next Congress and President need to cut any Hobby Lobby-style loopholes off completely.
I’m not sure why he picked this institution, but it could have been because it was the closest, had a program that best fit his needs, and so on. But I would urge him to look online for a public university or college option, since that would probably be lower and he would not face discrimination based on being LGBTQ or married. A quick Google search suggests 3 options through the University of Tennessee. I’m not sure how close they are to him, but he’ll probably be able to save a bit on tuition and avoid the anti-gay hatefulness of that evangelical outfit.
Aires the Ram
UT has locations all up and down I-40. Don’t know which ones have a nursing program, but Jackson, TN is on I-40 also. Shouldn’t be a problem.
In this day and age he should have known better than to not check out the sexual rules at an evang U. It’s a bummer but better to know their position now than after relocating. Live and learn.
If Biden is elected we may see this negative activity go by the wayside.
Nope. Biden’s election will do NOTHING to change the way a totally private faith based organization can run its program. I don’t like it, but that’s what “Separation of Church and State” is about. No federal dollars means they can do what they wish so long as its faith based and they have a religious exemption.
@Curtis, the article above says this institution is receiving federal dollars, but they’re discriminating, so either they cut off the federal spigot and raise private money, or they accept federal dollars but cease discriminating against LGBTQ people and anyone else.
While I can appreciate that there were mitigating reasons why Mr. Duron pursued a degree at a Christian college; I can’t understand that he would.
Sure, he can file a lawsuit and he could probably an excellent lawyer to do it pro-bono, but that takes time. And that keeps him from doing what he wants, which is helping people.
Don’t apply at a religious university, they typically squawk about these issues.
Alex “cherry-picked” the scriptures he used to make his point.
Mr. Duron should get a very good lawyer and file many complaints against that so called dark age “Christian” University and file everything you can and get others that may have been at the end of their so called beliefs and have a good time doing so and give them a lousy rep for doing so and then choose a better one to attend. There are more states with better Universities that will offer him better and help with things that most may not.
The university shouldn’t be able to have it both ways….deny enrollment on a basis that would not stand in a non-private institution AND accept federal funds. While I wholly disagree with their policies, I do respect their right to have them, but they should not be eligible for federal funds.
Why in “ christ’s” name do my fellow homo’s need to go to an “ evangelical “ university? You know they don’t want us nor we them ( except all the self hating queens up in the pulpit on Sunday’s. There are plenty of anesthesia programs in other medical universities around this country.
Sure, it was wrong of the University to rescind its’ offer BUT it was also wrong for this guy to sign a “Values” statement without reading it. It sucks that this happened, but an Evangelical faith based organization is permitted to discriminate against those who don’t uphold its’ values. Period. Should it be this way? No, but what did he expect?
As a Christian institution, Union University has standards of hatred and bigotry following the ways of American ‘Christians’.
The school is only indirectly receiving federal monies. They are paid to individual students in the form of student loans which students can use at any accredited institution, public or private, to pay for tuition and fees.
Says who? This is what the article says:
“According to the Charlotte Observer, the Tennessee Baptist-affiliated private university has 3,100 students. Student fees average $45,000 a year. To lower this cost, the university receives around $40million annually from the U.S. government.”
It says “The university receives..” it does not say the “the students receive..”. If the students were getting the money directly from the government, that would be a government scholarship. That’s not how these “monies” are described.
Evangelicals are devils in disguise. They should be exterminated from the face of the earth.
While this university is wrong to have done this (they just assumed because he was gay that he would break the rules. He has stated that he had no intention of living with his fiance or breaking their damned rules) I don’t get why LGBT people keep trying to go to these places as students or trying to work at them as staff. It boggles my mind. He was deeply naive to have arranged his whole life around going to an Evangelical school as a gay man.
If this were the 60s, one can ask why a black man in the south didn’t “just follow rules” as well. Fortunately there were brave trailblazers that put the greater need first and put a spotlight on injustice so change can happen
I do not understand why members of the LGBTQ community choose to attend religious schools. They have their beliefs and bigotry on display at all times.
Also why do these schools get gov money when they won’t follow gov rules. Bullshit.
Receiving federal money, then a lawsuit should prevail. The Supreme Court just ruled gains this.
Federal student loan funds are paid to institutions on behalf of the students borrowing the money. It is not a handout to the institution. Trust me, I have spent four decades in higher education. The students borrow the $$$ and the students are on the hook to pay it back. There are many private universities who benefit indirectly from this— Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Duke and — yes unfortunately— Union and thousands of public universities.
To paraphrase, hate masked as religion is NOT Christian. These so called Christians-in-name-only only cherry pick from the Bible they thump from. The whole purpose of the Bible is God is Love and these masked bigots use the name of God to mask their hate, which is blasphemous in and of itself. Hopefully we can get a new president and administration soon and at the very least we don’t have that insipid Pence as president.
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