I guess it doesn't pay to be a "gay" a cappella performer.
At least not at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where the a cappella group, Psalm 100, voted unanimously to remove Will Thomason, a gay senior who has been a part of the group since his freshman year.
It doesn't appear that he was removed for being gay, since he has ALLEGEDLY been gay since birth, but because of his "views" on homosexuality.
But, Psalm 100 is a student organization and, as such, is recognized by the university, and so it must follow UNC's nondiscrimination policy. According to Winston Crisp, vice-chancellor for student affairs, the university will be investigating whether Psalm 100 violated the policy, which states that iniversity-sanctioned groups may limit membership to those who share the group's beliefs but cannot prohibit members for individual characteristics, including sexual orientation.
Hmmmm, nondiscrimination policy. Gay student removed from school group because of his views on homosexuality. Case closed, yes?
Not so fast. See, Blake Templeton, general director of the group, says Will Thomason was removed for his opinions about homosexuality, not for being gay. His views clashed with the Bible, hence the ideas of the group.
And Will Thomason was out of Psalm 100, though not for being out, but for his opinions on being out.
UNC student body vice president, Zealan Hoover, has asked the student solicitor general to prepare a legal brief, as well as asking the student body treasurer to prepare a list of the funds allocated to the group. If the organization does not abide by university policies, it will no longer be recognized by the school.
Back in the good old days you got kicked out of groups for being gay, not for your opinion on it. Makes me wonder, though, if the UNC a cappella choir would remove a straight performer who had the same views on homosexuality as Will Thomason.
And Will Thomason, for his part, remains friendly with some with members of the group. "I'm especially appreciative of the willingness of the larger UNC community to openly engage in the dialogue and I trust there will be continued respect for all parties involved."
One would have to have respect for Will Thomason and his views first, before there can ever be 'continued respect'.