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Chase Martinson Loses College Acceptance After Coming Out as Gay on Facebook

Categories: LGBT

martinson1.jpg
Chase Martinson
Chase Martinson says he didn't get back into college because he came out as gay on Facebook.
When Chase Martinson took a break from his studies at Hannibal-LaGrange University to manage his health issues, he expected it to be temporary hiccup on his path to becoming a nurse.

But trying to get back into his degree program is proving to be much harder the second time around, and only one thing has changed: Martinson came out as gay on Facebook.

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."

See also: The Best Homophobic Freak-Outs Over the LGBT Exhibit at Missouri History Museum

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.

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Chase Martinson
Martinson posted this photo on Facebook to say he missed going to HLGU...before his application was suspended.
"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.'"

HLGU prides itself on being a Baptist school with a "biblical" -- read, heteronormative -- definition of marriage.

"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."

"There's really nothing I can do. It's just really sad," says Martinson, who is from Jefferson County. He's decided to enroll at the University of Missouri-St. Louis next year. "I have no desire to go back to that school."

Martin says he's not interested in pursuing legal action against the school, which is probably good since federal law only prohibits discrimination against students for characteristics like race and gender -- not sexual orientation. In Missouri, it's technically legal to fire someone for being gay.

Note: This story previously misstated which law prohibits discrimination. It has been edited and corrected.

See also: 2014 State of the State: Nixon Calls to End LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace

"Private institutions generally have a lot more freedom to make decisions that we wouldn't want government institutions to make," says Marcia McCormick, a constitutional-law professor at Saint Louis University, to KHQA. "Sometimes, religious, private institutions have even more ability to make decisions based on religious belief and religious practices than other private organizations do."

Even with a new school on the horizon, Martinson says he feels singled out for his sexuality, especially since the same rules that ban homosexuality also prohibit pornography, sex before marriage and cohabitating.

"You want to tell me 95 percent of the guys on that campus aren't looking at porn?" says Martinson. "I'm not the only one breaking rules."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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107 comments
Renee Vandermolen Bross
Renee Vandermolen Bross

I've read several articles on this matter. Perhaps the honors program offered some financial assistance that was not otherwise available at another school. Chase doesn't need to explain that to me. He's moving on and accepting the decision. I wish him the very best of luck. As the mother of a gay man in his first year of college, I'm very happy my son's school has diversity and acceptance. Aim high Chase! Best wishes!

Lisa Foehner
Lisa Foehner

"We'll also expel all the drunken sorority hoes for their immoral acts on campus. Said no one ever in the admissions office..."

tristateguy9
tristateguy9

LOL honors caliber yeah right! Everyone that knows Chase knows every good grade he got was from cheating. I'd assume the school has figured that out by now.

He broke every school rule while he was there and went on several online tirades trying to drag the school through the mud. Convenient that all his anti-HLG Twitter handles are down.

He was also recruited for volleyball and he's the worst athelete in college sports history. Maybe his failures in that have something to do with it.

Nobody wants that d-bag back on campus and it has nothing to do with his sexual orientation. What a joke!

Jesda Ulati
Jesda Ulati

You really didn't want to obtain an education from that kind of institution anyway.

Victoria Garner
Victoria Garner

There are no laws against "discriminating" against people for their sexual preferences. While I'm not anti-gay by any means, gays have no established rights.

George Cameron
George Cameron

Oh, Justin M Politte, your righteous indignation is very entertaining, but woefully misplaced. Allow me to break it down for you, since you seem to be either incapable of understanding it, or intentionally being obtuse. Whether or not homosexuality is a sin or not is subject to biblical interpretation. The fact is that this school has an unequivocally clear stance on the subject, and this kid chose to flagrantly and publicly defy that stance. Therefore, he was excluded. Those are the facts here. Everything else is simply an opinion, and we all know what those are worth. You also seem to be under the impression that I share the school's opinion. I do not. I am an openly homosexual man that finds their attitude to be repellant and terrible. But I support their right to have that view, and their right to enforce the rules that every student agrees to when they enroll. After all, it's a voluntary institution, meaning that he wasn't forced to go there and has plenty of other schools that are more accepting of him to go to. I'm not going to rise to any of your insults, because none of them are even remotely accurate, and they just make you look foolish by comparison. But by all means, keep throwing shit at the wall and see if any of it sticks. That's your right. :)

Justin M Politte
Justin M Politte

George Cameron, that's were the lazy fuck statement comes into play. I provided the FACTS above, that you obviously didn't take the time to read. Which, also correctly defines my illiterate statement, considering you completely missed that information. They are using Homosexuality, as cause for their decision. Homosexuality, is not a sin. Therefore, their decision, is baseless. Also, rendering your arguement, frivolous. Sorry, you lack comprehension to understand what I'm saying, however, there's no way to say it any clearer. Maybe, it is you who should invest in that dictionary. Because, if the FACT is, homosexuality is not a sin; then it most definitely does change yours, as well as the schools- Opinion. Whether you choose to accept the facts or not, makes them no less facts. See, I have that tid bit of information above, that does make me 100% correct. So do the world a favor, and instead of spouting off your mouth so desperately trying to be "right" in true juvenile fashion, go further your education; so when you speak on issues, you know what you're speaking about. Thanks Dear. Now shut the fuck up, and sit the fuck down. You're wasting my time with nonsense, and have provided absolutely no substance to this subject. (Who thinks George of the Jackasses, will comment again, out of that desperation I spoke of, instead of reading those provided FACTS??? LMFUCKINGASSO WAIT FOR IT..... Wait for it..)

George Cameron
George Cameron

So, Justin M Politte, what are the facts here, exactly? The kid voluntarily enrolled in a school that has a lifestyle policy in place, flagrantly violated it, and now you're crying foul over it. There's your facts, dear. I suggest you look up the definition of that word before you try wielding it like a sledgehammer, because you're 100% incorrect and your juvenile attempts to hurl insults doesn't change THAT fact. Dismissed.

Justin M Politte
Justin M Politte

Well George Cameron, your "blah blah blah" comment, on dictating what is correct or not, is highly irrelevant when one has FACTS. Facts do, and always will void opinions, beliefs, and misinterpretations. That is, considering your lazy, illiterate ass would take the time to read said FACTS. (Whispers- We will correctly assume, you won't.) LoL. Your mediocre attempt to be witty, and provide any substance to the conversation, falls short between dramatically hypocritical, and a mouthpiece with a superiority complex. Thanks for trying though! You're Dismissed ;)

George Cameron
George Cameron

How about you use those two neurons you have to left to form a synapse with and use inference and/or context clues to figure out who I'm speaking to? Unless of course you need the crutch, in which case be aware that my laptop didn't give me the option.

Justin M Politte
Justin M Politte

George Cameron, how about you tag the appropriate person's name with your reply. To ensure a correct response, instead of just babbling away like a rabid gerber monkey, with an extra chromosome.

George Cameron
George Cameron

Way to be objective, RFT. But Lindsay Toler is a sensationalist and judgmental hack anyway, so it's not unexpected. It's too bad we couldn't examine the larger issue of peoples' rights to conservative/religious/whatever beliefs being attacked, since the RFT is the one handing out the torches and pitchforks on this one. Congratulations, you're just as bad as the school.

David B Fowler
David B Fowler

try that at a muslim school...see what happens. It's the private Christian based school. Has the right to make their own rules.

George Cameron
George Cameron

Blah blah blah different views. They have the right to their views, and you to yours. Don't presume to dictate what's correct or not, because you're no better than them when you do.

George Cameron
George Cameron

You spout words like "compassionate" and "the right thing to do", without even realizing that what you're really saying is "I want them to do things the way I think is right". It's a private institution that has the right to institute whatever standards they want, and it is a VOLUNTARY school, meaning no one is forced to attend. This kid was aware of that fact, chose to attend the school anyway (and thereby accepting the school's authority), and knowingly and publicly defied those standards. He was punished accordingly...so where's the wrong here? (Answer: with the kid)

Justin M Politte
Justin M Politte

Nice to see soo many here commenting in support with Equality. Much Love to you All! ♡

Justin M Politte
Justin M Politte

Didn't we see this with African-Americans? Using religion to oppress minorities is getting old.... yawn. What's even more pathetic, is how uneducated fundamentalists are, on the very book they use to discriminate others with.... Homosexuality, is not, a sin. When you study the original texts, context, and definitions, of the very passages used to persecute homosexuals; in the original Greek and Hebrew writings, the Facts are undeniable. http://www.gaychurch.org/homosexuality-and-the-bible/the-bible-christianity-and-homosexuality/

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

I hope that there will never be something wrong about getting "bitchy" about discrimination. And I think you put your words in the wrong order. It is about NOT being compassionate.

Paul Hibbard
Paul Hibbard

Pretty retarded. But he probably lucked out as a school with that mentality would probably not give a very good education

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Why would this idiot give them his tuition dollars knowing they don't approve of his personal preferences? It's not like this is a new Christian belief.

Bunny Daulton
Bunny Daulton

Since when do people, schools, and businesses not have a right to have conservative beliefs? Slowly our right to have opinions, rules and regulations are being stirpped away. If the college has that rule fine, it is not the only university in America.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

probably not. they made their stance and position known at the time he choose to go there. unless they get some kind of federal assistance, he really doesn't have a case.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

not about being compassionate. I didn't say I agreed with the school, but they have a right to choose who goes there. this kid knowingly picked a school that doesn't want him there and is now upset and bitchy about it?

Melani Nicole
Melani Nicole

That school has always been overly conservative. There are plenty of other options within 20 min- go there. Not saying it's right, but they're a private school.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

"the right thing to do" does not remove someone's "right".

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

or maybe the kid shouldn't have picked that school?

Liza Vader III
Liza Vader III

What's next? Only Blondes with Blue eyes are allowed??

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

P.S. I went to the comment page knowing that this would be there.

Daniel Stout
Daniel Stout

That does not make it the right thing to. Having a right to do something and it being right are not necessarily the same thing.

Cody Buch
Cody Buch

Had a friend that went there back in early 2001-2002 time frame, Had a friend in their dormitory that went camping one weekend with his fiancé and got expelled for non-compliance with the schools rules.

Julie Adams Huber
Julie Adams Huber

Not sure why anyone other than a right wing conservative Baptist would attend that school.

Brian Farnsworth Rehg
Brian Farnsworth Rehg

Taking a break from your studies no matter what the issue can cause you to lose your scholarship.

Melani Nicole
Melani Nicole

Not that EVERYONE from there was like that...

Melani Nicole
Melani Nicole

Dude, they make you take religion classes... I'm from that area and I remember their students hanging out at the coffee shops and they were all the "I'm a virgin but I have butt sex because it's not real sex" weird awkward types. They don't call it "HL Geezus" for nothing. Don't go there if you aren't ultra conservative. They make no secret of their beliefs.

Tammy Madison
Tammy Madison

Actually if the school has this published contract and one breaks it, that is the legal recourse. I don't see a discriminate issue. I see a broken contract which can be upheld in court........just like an apartment lease. You agree to pay X amount of dollars monthly with 2 occupants and no pets. The minute you have a kid or get a puppy, your contract is broken . You either renegotiate or move. This young man knew the rules. They won't renegotiate so he moves whether you agree or not, it's their LEGAL contract .

tristateguy9
tristateguy9

The school doesn't have sororities. Nice try though.


But if they did, I guarantee Chase would have consumed more alcohol on campus than the entire sorority house combined.

tristateguy9
tristateguy9

Or being terrible at your scholarship sport, which he was. Or constantly coming drunk to class, which he did. Or just being a terrible student all together....which he was.

tristateguy9
tristateguy9

Or being terrible at your scholarship sport, or just being a terrible student in general. Which he was. All of that.

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