Former seminary student organizes gay-rights rally at Baylor

Posted: Friday, April 02, 2004

WACO, Texas (AP) Nearly 200 people attended a gay rights rally organized by a former Baylor University seminary student who lost his scholarship to the Baptist university because he is homosexual.

Matt Bass said he dropped out of Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary in December after administrators confronted him about his sexuality and then revoked his financial aid.

Bass and other homosexual students and alumni say they have faced discrimination at the university. They say they don't expect the private school to abandon Baptist belief that gay sex is a sin, but they want an anti-discrimination policy for gay students.

''I believe I am gay and that God made me that way,'' Bass said last Saturday. ''I believe this is a civil rights movement. We're not looking for any special class or treatment but equal protection under the law.''

Baylor officials declined to comment.

Baylor, founded in 1845, is run by an all-Baptist board of regents and is affiliated with the Southern Baptist General Convention of Texas. It has nearly 14,000 students.

According to the school's ''statement on human sexuality'' in its policies handbook, Baylor students should not be part of advocacy groups promoting lifestyles that are contrary to biblical teaching.

Last month, a student newspaper editorial endorsing gay marriage created an uproar because it violated another school policy, which states that no student publications editorial should ''attack the basic tenets of Christian theology or of Christian morality.''

No students were punished over the editorial.

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