Discrimination | Education | Missouri | News | St. Louis

Missouri College Refuses to Re-enroll Student Who Came Out as Gay Since He 'Misused God's Gift'


Chase Martinson was halfway through his studies at Hannibal-LaGrange University when health issues forced him to take a break. When he reapplied the school said it wouldn't accept him.

Why? Because during the time he was on a break, he came out as a gay man.

The Riverfront Times reports:

Martinson reapplied to Hannibal-LaGrange, a small school about 120 miles north of St. Louis, a few months ago, quickly getting an acceptance letter and even a note saying he was eligible for the honors program. Everything was on track -- until the next letter came, putting his application on hold:

"Admittance is open to academically and morally qualified students," the school wrote Martinson on March 4. "Admission is open to students who are in agreement with the HLGU Student Life Guidelines."

The school directed Martinson to pages 20and 27 of the student-life guidelines, where the school's sexual impropriety rules are spelled out. Both pages explicitly forbid "homosexual activities." Page 27 even prohibits appearing to be gay.

"I just wanted to be me, and I never had any idea this would happen," Martinson tells Daily RFT. "I thought I was already in, but then they send me this letter saying, 'Just kidding.'"

The school's policy suggests that Martinson 'misused God's gift:

"It is God's intent that heterosexual union is the only acceptable expression of sexuality and must be reserved for marriage," says the school's standard of sexual conduct. "This expression of a self-giving love is viewed as a gift from God. All members of the University community should abstain from behavior which may lead to a violation of God's standards on sexual activities.

The school lists homosexuality -- along with sexual abuse, sexual harassment, incest and sexual assault -- as "misuses of God's gift."

Martinson is enrolling at University of Missouri - St. Louis.

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  1. Let's all remember that, in the USA, freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion. Nobody has a right to force their beliefs or practices on you. If you don't believe what others do, you have the right to be let alone. And that works both ways, June dear.

    Posted by: Jack M | Mar 21, 2014 12:28:38 PM

  2. Can we please stop all further discussion on these loons who all invest their insecurities in one Book, whether:
    Book of Mormon;

    They all seem to be written by weirdos on mushrooms in the desert or they have visiting angels or they find Gold Plates with magic writing....which then disappears.

    OK; I did meet up with some leprauchans once, but I was eh, ....intellectually compromised and physically listing to port at the time.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 21, 2014 12:29:38 PM

  3. PS :

    But i didn't write a book about the experience.....to bore everyone to death.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 21, 2014 12:30:53 PM

  4. He's adorable, and his move from this myopic "university" will be the best decision he's made so far. Go get a degree from a real school, and let the religious zealots fend for themselves.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Mar 21, 2014 12:47:51 PM

  5. Chase is much better off going to a real school. Nobody takes these pretend schools seriously.

    Posted by: David | Mar 21, 2014 12:50:41 PM


    By whose terms or standards? Ok. let's try MINE:

    All male students who keep a neat dorm room are expelled. All students who exhibit traces of quick wit, cleverness, a fondness for satire and an appreciation for art and culure - you're all expelled too. Because you're appearing to be gay.

    Did you *not* date-rape a drunken female? That's gay of you. EXPELLED!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 21, 2014 1:04:28 PM

  7. Good for him. He will get a better and more valuable education from U of Missouri St Louis anyway. And maybe even meet the man of his dreams there.

    Posted by: Castro Craig | Mar 21, 2014 1:15:03 PM

  8. What schools like this mainly sell to Christian parents is the promise of a protective religious bubble to shield their children (often home-schooled before college) from the temptations and corruptions of the world. If they really had the evangelical spirit, they would have regarded this as an opportunity for conversion and salvation. But instead, they consider him a source of temptation and corruption for the other students. It's all about maintaining the purity of life inside their bubble.

    There are good-quality religiously-affiliated colleges and universities out there (Notre Dame, Baylor, Fordham, etc.), but these tiny Southern Baptist colleges are rarely among them.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho Panza | Mar 21, 2014 1:20:25 PM

  9. It's a Christian School. Duh. Not a news story, as much as we may disagree it is a private religious institution and can dictate it's own admissions criteria.

    Now IF this schools gets ANY state or federal money...now we have an issue.

    Posted by: qj201 | Mar 21, 2014 1:24:28 PM

  10. June, you are correct. Private religious institutions should be able to accept or reject any student. We need to keep a fine line between church and state to support both institutions. However, religous schools should not receive any public money, including federal grants of any kind (research or student support) or benefit from gov't backed student loan programs. Freedom isn't free. In order to exercise their beliefs and not be subject to gov't intervention, they have to stand on their own financially. Good luck with that.

    Posted by: Turing's Ghost | Mar 21, 2014 1:27:15 PM

  11. David - Clearly Satan has ALREADY taken control of June's browser.

    That so-called university is not "morally qualified" to be a university in my view.

    Amazing and astonishing to be reading about such cases happening in the USA in 2014!

    Still such a long way to go!

    Posted by: edude | Mar 21, 2014 1:37:22 PM

  12. Any religious church or college gets some kind of tax breaks. We need to end tax breaks for any institutions that discriminates. So all churches should lose their tax breaks unless they are non-discriminatory churches (mcc's, uu's, most episcopal, some presbyterian, shamanistic, etc.)

    Posted by: Alfonso | Mar 21, 2014 1:38:09 PM

  13. Indeed, @ALFONSO. No institution should be treated as a community service if they discriminate against members of the community.

    Posted by: JJ | Mar 21, 2014 1:55:14 PM

  14. He's better of at UMSL who's ever heard of Hannibal-LaGrange University? Is it even certified?

    Posted by: Billy | Mar 21, 2014 2:07:32 PM

  15. My question is do they allow children from divorce parents in their school?

    Is anyone in their staff divorced or have committed adultery? Do any have tattoos?

    Personally don't understand why someone would want to go to this type of school. To each their own.

    Posted by: Dawson | Mar 21, 2014 2:37:02 PM

  16. @ June, You have pointed out an obvious problem with 'xtian' schools. They have the right to set their own agenda. However, if they receive any federal money or state money at all then they need to follow the federal and state guidelines for discrimination. I grew up in Missouri, and and far as I know MO has no sexual orientation anti-discriminatory regulation. Unfortunately the repugnicatic Tealiban in Congress have prevented passage of ENDA which might be said to apply. My feeling is that ANY entity of education that grants a degree should have to follow anti-discrimination guidelines, if they want to discriminate they need to be relegated to 'after hour's classes' with no credit to transfer to higher education entities. I think that should also apply at high school diplomas, etc. I think it's time to take religion out of the business of stating that people are educated.

    Posted by: Steven Jaeger | Mar 21, 2014 2:57:29 PM

  17. Yes, my penis is a gift from God! Praise The Lord!

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Mar 21, 2014 3:16:35 PM

  18. Is "God's gift" anything like Navin Johnson's "special purpose"?

    Posted by: Two Hands Full | Mar 21, 2014 4:29:14 PM

  19. Forgive me for being shallow - but BOY is he cute!

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Mar 21, 2014 4:35:17 PM

  20. I don't consider the degrees from religious institutions to be worth the paper they're printed on.

    This will work out for the best.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 21, 2014 5:24:41 PM

  21. ok i think the bigger question is "how did the school know he was gay?!?". He took time off, so he left the school I assume, then "came out"...Did he have a coming out parade at the the school and invited the admissions staff to his coming out extravaganza?? Isn't it a little creepy that a school would have any knowledge about his private life. I'm assuming they stumbled upon his gayness on some social media connection, FB, twatter or Christian Mingle...if you are displaying the intimate details of your personal life for the world to see, expect consequences. That is not to excuse the school, where did we get the idea it is ok for the school to discriminate?

    I understand they may have legal recourse to be bigots, but it is not "OK"...this "schools" are very unseemly and just weird...BYU and and their ilk are a insult to education and the advancement of society. Every single person I've met who has graduated from one of these institutions has been a fine example of what goes wrong in society when we stop holding people accountable for their magical thinking.

    Posted by: epic | Mar 21, 2014 6:03:40 PM

  22. @Zell: June didn't exactly get it right. The Biblical stories portray Jesus as being a "friend of tax collectors and sinners," but having a low opinion of people in positions of authority who use that position be make life difficult for the average person, and having a low opinion of people who use religious institutions to cheat people. While one story has him telling an adulteress to "go and sin no more", it also has him say that he did not condemn her, and he stopped the others from stoning her. Telling her to "go and sin nor more" could have simply been advice on how to avoid a repeat, where the outcome could be a lot worse.

    Given that, can you really claim that the school should have kicked this kid out based on "Christian" values?

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 21, 2014 6:06:08 PM

  23. Why give the American fundamentalists the right to claim the label "Christian"? Academics who study the history of religion have written that this sect came into being in the late 19th century/early 20th century. They don't even have roots in the Reformation, much less the early church. They are no more Christian than the Scientology group who also use a cross on the steeple.

    Oh, as to you queens spouting pseudo-theology on here, a newsflash. The Old Testament is Jewish in origin and tone, not Christian and Jesus was a Jewish man. Jews did not enslave fellow Jews as they had known slavery in Egypt and saw Yaweh as their deliverer from it through Aaron and Moses. Mazel tov!

    Posted by: Contrarian | Mar 21, 2014 8:15:22 PM

  24. Yes, it's terrible that the college discriminates. I can't imagine that attending would be good experience. Matriculating and a school that welcomes LGBT students would be better for his health and success.

    Posted by: Victor | Mar 22, 2014 8:28:42 AM

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