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Business dean of Baptist university ousts gay alumnus from board


WACO, Texas (RNS) - A Baylor University alumnus has been removed from an advisory board for the Baptist university's business school because he is gay.

Terry Maness, dean of the Hankamer School of Business at the university, said he asked Tim Smith, 44, to step down "because of his alternative lifestyle."

"We must be sensitive to the position of our affiliated denomination, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which has, on previous occasions, stated that a homosexual lifestyle is incompatible with most Baptist interpretations of Scripture," Maness said in a written statement Nov. 3.

Smith, an entrepreneur who has donated more than $65,000 to Baylor, told the San Antonio Express-News that the decision disappointed him.

The 1983 Baylor graduate, who has a master's degree in business administration from Harvard, often lectured in entrepreneurial business classes at Baylor and had served on the advisory board for four years.

"It's hard, because Baylor did so much for me as a student," Smith told the newspaper from Charleston, S.C., where he recently moved to be with his partner. "I think Terry is a good man. I just think he made a mistake on this one."

It's just the latest situation involving gays to gain attention at Baylor.

In 2003, the university made headlines when a gay seminary student's scholarship was rescinded. Baylor later sued the student for sending harassing emails to university officials, and a court ordered him to pay $77,000.

In September, a campus Starbucks at Baylor removed coffee cups because they featured a quote by writer Armistead Maupin saying that "life is too d--n short" to hide being gay.