“Student Kicked Out For Being Lesbian”

LIE.  Truth? This student was kicked out after violating the code of ethics as stated in the student handbook. A code to which she and all students pledge to follow, and publicly proclaimed so with their signature, before attending their first class.  Danielle Powell was expelled in danielle powell2011 after she began a relationship with another woman, and thus broke her word.

Have a read for yourself:

“Any student involved in sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, adultery, and homosexual acts, is at minimum placed on University probation and may be subject to a Judiciary Hearing.”

Despite cries of “discrimination,” Grace University has been very frank about their actions.   “Any sexual activity outside of marriage is prohibited,” Executive Vice President Michael James said. “This situation has been handled no differently than any other violation of our code of conduct… It’s a situation where the rules were very clear, the consequences were very clear, and everything has played out as the policy said it should. There are no surprises here.”

The reality is not what many media outlets giddily portray. It is not that Powell was expelled for “simply falling in love” or “for being gay”.  She was expelled because she knowingly violated the code of conduct at the University at which she chose to enroll. She, a presumably well-educated adult, is being held responsible for willingly breaking her oath.

Powell’s opportunity to graduate college was exactly the same as her heterosexual classmates, but she chose to violate the code of conduct.  No doubt there are plenty of students on Grace University’s campus who have “fallen in love”.  And certainly some who experience same-sex attraction.  The reason they are participating in graduation ceremonies this month is because they chose to exercise sexual restraint until they were no longer under the oath to which they committed themselves.  They behaved like responsible adults.

Media paints this story as one of a suffering victim because that serves the narrative that Christians Hate Gays.  The honest truth is that Ms. Powell had the same resources, namely self-control, available to her as those who are receiving their degrees.  She chose not to exercise it.  Actions, in the adult world, have consequences.

31 thoughts on ““Student Kicked Out For Being Lesbian”

  1. The centrally important question is whether an code of conduct which attempts to control the private sexual activities of its adherents is even enforceable, let alone ethical.

    • Obviously there are MANY who disagree with their policy. And I can imagine that the debate on the ethics of their code of conduct would be lively in a secular context. The student handbook also forbade kissing and “prolonged hugs”, and this blogger would certainly have had to change her college behavior if I were to have adhered to it. But the bottom line is that Ms. Powell was not compelled to attend that school and willingly accepted that code of conduct. Portraying her as a victim is a stretch.

          • You can argue that, but we are working in the realm of the theoretical since I (and I would guess you) don’t have any first-hand knowledge of this school.

            Are you saying that it is impossible not to act on sexual appetites?

          • I have firsthand and secondhand experience with very similar schools and groups.

            I don’t know exactly what this “code of conduct” contained, but unless it prohibits dating of any kind, there is a double standard being applied here.

            The issue with unconscionability is that private sexual actions of adults ought not be the purvey of authority figures.

  2. This is very simple. You choose a University. You review their Code of Conduct and you decide if you can adhere to it. If you can, you enroll. If you can’t you don’t enroll. Should you find yourself unexpectedly in danger of violating a particular part of the Code, you have two choices…abstain from sexual conduct in keeping with the code of conduct or, if this proves impossible for you and your love interest, enroll in a different University that does not have the same requirements.

    If you don’t want to adhere to Christian standards, don’t join Christian groups. If you’re not interested in losing weight, don’t join Weight Watchers. If you are allergic to flowers, don’t go to florist school.

    And yes….a code of conduct CAN dictate the sexual behavior of an adherent AS LONG AS the adherent agrees to be bound by the code. When it is no longer possible or convenient to adhere to the code, then said adherent has a decision to make.

    I am employed in a public position. As part of my contract, I am not permitted to post any nude media of myself or to post media of myself engaging in any “inappropriate” activities. This contract was explained to me and I accepted it because I wanted the job and, weighed against the advantages of the job, it was an acceptable restriction to me. Should I find myself in the position where either my husband or I choose to run a side business producing “tasteful nude experiences”, I will have to decide if I am going to leave my job or come up with a different plan that fits within the code I signed.

    The only way I would consider the Grace University situation to be “unconscionable, illegal, unenforceable” would be if:

    1. Ms. Powell did not sign the Code of Conduct of her free will
    2. Ms. Powell was forcibly engaged in sexual conduct
    3. Ms. Powell was of insufficient mental cognizance to understand the contents of the document.
    4. Ms. Powell did not actually engage in any sexual conduct.

    Otherwise, you signed the contract, you violated it, you are expelled.

      • In the couple articles that I read, there was no report of Ms. Powell disputing the charge that she had violated the Code of Conduct.

        • It would be pointless to dispute, because “homosexual acts” include merely dating someone of the same gender (which was ultimately what got her kicked out). As opposed to actual premarital sex, which is where they draw the line for straight students.

          • I don’t think so. Sounds like their policy forbids kissing and prolonged hugs regardless of sexual orientation. Doesn’t sound like they are keen on any PDA or (private) DA.

          • Indeed. Had there been no “extended hugs”, kissing, or sexual involvement Ms. Powell’s relationship would have easily been passed off as a close friendship. Not unlike, I’m sure, many other close relationships that women form in college. But I don’t hear her making the case that there was no sexual conduct.

          • According to the article, the school went to great lengths to ferret out whether she was in a romantic relationship. And there were no allegations of sexual conduct mentioned.

          • Or they are trying to do what most others would not, namely, be discreet for the sake of all involved about potentially salacious details surrounding this case. From the letter by the University’s President:

            “It is clearly outlined in the Code of Conduct that premarital sex of any kind is unacceptable. Every Grace University student signs a document confirming that they have read and agreed to the Student Handbook, which contains both the Code of Conduct and the Student Financial Accounts policy.”


          • Well, after being indirectly involved in church leadership for several years, I get that there are times when you have to hold individuals accountable for breaking an oath or covenant. And you have to let the community know that that individual will no longer be in leadership/membership. But you don’t need to air all the details either. A simple “ this member has chosen to no longer abide by the covenant” or “he is going to step away from his position and take time to work on his relationship with his wife” is suffice. Yes, some will press leadership for details, but most people don’t have to know everything. Only those directly involved need to know details. I’m sure the University could justify themselves by airing sensational details, but if they have them (which likely they do as they continue to refer to “sex outside of marriage” being the item for her expulsion) they are withholding the details to their own determent.

            Don’t know how much more there is to say here, but I welcome you to have the final word.

          • Obviously, it’s impossible to know for sure what went on behind the scenes. Ms. Powell claims it was merely dating that got her expelled, but we aren’t on the inside so we can’t know for certain who is telling the truth.

            The more important question, I think, is a general one. Is it a double standard for a college—even a Christian one—to allow heterosexual dating but prohibit homosexual dating?

    • Indeed Judy! Thanks for your comment. God knows I’ve made some choices that I would like to undo, and learned from them. Such IS life. 🙂

  3. Askme,
    That’s the kind of university I hope my kids choose when they grow up. It’s so sad to me that even Christians so often assume that pre marital sex and immorality are acceptable and that those who believe in abstinence are outdated. Does the truth of the Bible ever become outdated? I think not.
    I’m proud of that school. When we sign our name , we should be held accountable. Good job!

  4. I don’t think it really matters if there was conduct that you or I would consider sexual. Apparently, Ms. Powell engaged in contact, sexual or otherwise, that violated the code. As stated before, there was a time when a choice had to be made….either live by the code or withdraw from the code and whatever goes with it. It really isn’t about even about sex, IMO, it’s about making a commitment to someone (in this case to the University), expecting them to deliver on their end and then saying “I find it inconvenient to adhere to my end of the contract, but I expect you to uphold yours”.

    As long as Ms. Powell was aware of what was contained in the code of conduct (and by signing it, she indicated she was) and freely engaged in whatever behavior was unacceptable to the University, then she broke the contract and so is held accountable.

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