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July 15, 2014

Student: Expelled from college after gay marriage

OKLAHOMA CITY — A woman said Monday that she was expelled from a private, Christian college in suburban Oklahoma City because she married her same-sex partner.

Christian Minard, 22, said she received a letter last week from Southwestern Christian University notifying her of the expulsion after returning from her honeymoon in Las Vegas.

Minard said she did not know how the university learned of her March 17 marriage in Albuquerque, though she posted her marriage license on Facebook.

University Academic Vice President and Provost Connie Sjoberg said Minard had been a student at the school in the Oklahoma City suburb of Bethany but no longer was. She said federal privacy laws kept her from providing details.

Minard admitted that she violated her signed student conduct code, known as a lifestyle principal, which prohibits homosexual relationships. The code also includes prohibitions on smoking, drinking, cheating, premarital sex, discrimination, harassment and profanity.

Sjoberg referred questions about student code violations to the student handbook, which includes the lifestyle covenant.

The Christian liberal arts university was founded in 1946 by the International Pentecostal Holiness Church as Southwestern Bible College. It became Southwestern College of Christian Ministries in 1981 and Southwestern Christian University in 2001.

Minard said she plans to transfer to a public college in an effort to complete her degree in sports management and hopes to eventually work as strength and conditioning coach.

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