Five months after former Duke College Republicans president Justin Robinette claimed he was forced out of the group when club members learned he was gay, the Duke student senate has de-chartered and canceled funding for the organization for two years.
The senate voted to remove the club's charter by a two-thirds vote and went 20-3 in ceasing their funding. A UNC student paper reports:
Senators were presented discriminatory e-mails and anonymous threatening messages received by former chairman of the club Justin Robinette and his supporters, who say they were harassed by the members of the club.
The senate's actions were a big victory for Robinette, who has claimed since April that he was impeached by the organization's executive board for being gay.
Their actions come after Robinette and eight other plaintiffs were denied a hearing against the College Republicans by the student judiciary last month on allegations of harassment and discrimination. The judiciary had ruled that those allegations fell outside of their jurisdiction.
"I really do feel like it's a victory for us and the Duke student body and whoever cares about harrassment," Robinette said.
Another student club board has to approve the vote to make the decision final. So the fight is almost over for Mr. Robinette, who will have to find some other outlet for his conservative political leanings. Or who knows! Maybe this experience has changed those leanings a bit. Judging by his photo, he's more than welcome to lean our way if he likes. We're shallow. Anyway, congrats everyone. Duke is probably still a pretty miserable place to be gay, though. The world changes slowly.