Athlete: I was expelled from Christian college for being openly gay

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A gay athlete is claiming he was expelled from a private Christian college because of his sexuality.

Anthony Villarreal – who was the top distance runner at William Jessup University, California – says he was expelled for violating a public conduct contract by living with his boyfriend Chris Wright.

He told OutSports: “I got dismissed because I was a homosexual at William Jessup University. I was opening up to people. They knew that if I had enough power, I’d encourage others to open up about being homosexual. They didn’t want that.”

The school’s student handbook states: “Students who engage in unmarried heterosexual cohabitation or any homosexual/bisexual activity will be subject to judicial action.

“WJU seeks to support an environment of sexual purity based upon biblical standards that define appropriate sexual relationships as occurring within the context of a monogamous heterosexual marriage relationship.”

Villarreal alleges the university exploited the fact that he was wrongfully arrested to force him onto probation, even though the police had already dropped all charges against him.

He said: “They first wanted to address my living situation. But after they realized they probably couldn’t go after me because of my sexual orientation and they had no proof we weren’t anything more than just roommates, they bring back up my arrest. Even though those charges were dropped.

“[The Dean] told me: ‘You must secure a new living arrangement’.

“My heart just sank. Looking back, maybe I should’ve kept my homosexuality in the closet. It’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life.

“Just when I started feeling comfortable with who I was and told a few close friends, the arrest happened, the school pulled it out of me that I was gay. And then they cut all ties that I had.”

Eric Hogue, the university’s chief development officer, told the Fresno Bee: “While university policy prohibits us from discussing private student matters, we do not discriminate against students based on their sexual orientation.

“However, student participation in WJU is a voluntary association governed by a biblically based code of conduct for every student enrolled at the university.”