One Equal World

University Expels Student for Same-Sex Relationship

Posted on: June 21, 2013

Danielle Powell proposal

Danielle proposes to her girlfriend at a Macklemore concert.
Image: Danielle Renae / YouTube

Danielle Powell was a brilliant girl on scholarship at Grace University.  That is, until they found out she is a lesbian.

Danielle felt so proud after finding out she would be able to study at Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska.  She would become the first person in her family to graduate from college.  She was promised a three-and-a-half year scholarship to cover all expenses, a dream come true.  Upon arrival, she dove right into collegiate activities, such as playing on the volleyball team and starting an on-campus homeless outreach in Omaha’s downtown area.

Things were going fine until 2011.  That spring, Danielle fell in love…with another girl.  When the university found out she was having a same-sex relationship, they expelled her with only one semester to go to graduation.

They told her that “…it would be impossible for the faculty of Grace University to affirm your Christian character, a requirement for degree conferral.”

Getting kicked out would have been bad enough, but the university took it a step further and demanded she pay back the scholarship money.  They are asking her for approximately $6,000 in back tuition for the final semester her scholarship would have paid for.

When wind of this got out, Danielle’s girlfriend started a petition asking the university to waive Danielle’s tuition debt.  It was addressed to Michael James, the Executive Vice President of the school.  35,000 people signed that petition.  Many expressed the sentiment that it was “un-Christian” to expel a student based solely on her sexual orientation.

There are one or two things going in Danielle’s favor.  She recently had a chance to propose to her girlfriend in a fun, unexpected way.  Powell, who happens to be friends with the rapper Macklemore, worked with him to set up a surprise.  Danielle and her girlfriend attended his show.  After the song “Same Love,” which is a song in favor of gay marriage, Danielle went onstage and proposed in front of the crowd.  The answer was yes!

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