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A Fuller Theological Seminary student who was expelled because he is in a same-sex marriage has joined an ongoing discrimination lawsuit against the school.

Nathan Brittsan isn’t the only student in this predicament Just last November, former student Joanna Maxon filed the lawsuit for the same reason.

The question now is whether the seminary is allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation even though it receives federal funding.

“It’s a very important case at this time in our nation’s history,” said Paul Southwick, the attorney representing Maxon and Brittsan. “This case could set an important legal precedent that if an educational institution receives federal funding, even if it’s religiously affiliated, even if it’s a seminary, that it’s required to comply with Title IX prohibitions on sex discrimination as applied to LGBT individuals.

If a religious school wanted to create its own bigotry-fueled rules, there’s already a way to do it: They can fund themselves. There’s a reason you can’t sue a private Christian school for rejecting your application because you refuse to sign onto their faith statement. If you don’t agree with the rules, you don’t have to go there.

But a school that wants the government to assist with funding doesn’t get to have the same freedom. That’s the tradeoff.

Maybe the bigger question is why students who are in same-sex relationships would choose to give their time and money to a school that makes no secret of its anti-gay beliefs. There may be legitimate reasons, but that issue is far more worthy of a debate than whether a religious school should be allowed to have its cake and eat it too.

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