By Gudrun Schultz

WILLIAMSBURG, Kentucky, April 27, 2006 ( – A gay-rights group has launched a lawsuit against Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher for his decision to allow a Baptist university to receive state funding. The school expelled a student earlier this month for “engaging in and promoting” homosexuality.

The University of the Cumberlands expelled 20-year-old Jason Johnson after the student discussed his gay boyfriend on a popular student website. The school’s policy on “attitude and conduct” in the 2005-06 student handbook states that participating in or promoting “sexual behavior not consistent with Christian principles (including sex outside of marriage and homosexuality)” may result in suspension or expulsion from the university.

The Kentucky Fairness Alliance filed the lawsuit against Gov. Fletcher, saying the Kentucky Constitution prohibits the use of state tax money to support religious institutions or entities that are discriminatory, reported the Associated Press.

The University is slated to receive $10 million for a proposed pharmacy school and $1 million in funding for scholarships.

Gov. Fletcher said he would not veto the funding, but he would delay disbursement of the grant until the question of constitutionality was settled in court.

“I believe we need to answer once and for all in Kentucky the legality of funding private faith-based institutions for public purposes,” he said in a televised statement April 24.

University of the Cumberlands is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

To contact Governor Fletcher

To respectfully contact Kentucky Fairness Alliance
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