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Student expelled after same-sex marriage accepted at another school

By Dave Stewart, CNN
updated 7:52 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Kadyn Park, left, and Christian Minard were married on March 17 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Kadyn Park, left, and Christian Minard were married on March 17 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Christian Minard was expelled from Southwestern Christian University
  • She was told her marriage to another woman conflicted with the school's "lifestyle covenant"
  • Another university in Oklahoma has now accepted Minard for fall classes
  • Minard says she learned a vital lesson: "To always stand up for what you believe in"

(CNN) -- An honor-roll student who was expelled from Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma after she married another woman is now enrolled at a different university in the same state.

Christian Minard said in a post to Facebook Tuesday, "Finally got into classes!! In the end this will all have worked out for the best! I now get to attend a university that is more than happy to have me there and has been extremely helpful towards me! Excited for this new beginning!"

Adrienne Nobles, assistant vice president for university relations at the University of Central Oklahoma, confirmed Minard is enrolled in fall classes at the school in Edmond.

In a statement, Nobles said an adviser to her school's Students Alliance for Equality organization "reached out to Ms. Minard via Facebook after reading (news coverage of Minard's expulsion) to offer support and encouragement as a fellow lesbian who recently married her partner."

Earlier this month, in a letter that Minard shared with CNN, an administrator at Southwestern Christian University noted that he'd been told of Minard's same-sex marriage and saw pictures of it posted to Facebook.

Such a union is in apparent conflict with the "lifestyle covenant" of the university "that all students must agree and sign," he added.

"As an American and a Christian, I do respect your choice," the administrator wrote. "(But) I have to uphold the Lifestyle Covenant at SCU and confront you with our position.

"Due to this recent event, you will not be able to attend SCU in the future."

In a conversation through Facebook with CNN, Minard said Wednesday she has received mixed reactions from the public, but said many people reached out to share their own stories.

"The LGBTQ community greatly reached out to me. Many of them had also attended religious universities and experienced problems. They connected with me and tried to help me in anyway they could. The support I received from everyone was incredible and pushed me to move forward!

"The most important thing I've learned is to always stand up for what you believe in," she added. "It's okay to not be accepted somewhere, there is somewhere else out there that will accept you and encourage you to be who you are."

What to know about same-sex marriage

Utah wins delay in recognizing same-sex marriages; licenses stopped in Colorado

Judge rules Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

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