Duke University’s Divine Divide

Mar 15, 2018

Duke Chapel
Credit Wikimedia Commons

In 2014, the LGBTQ community rallied around students at Duke Divinity School after former Dean Richard Hays warned incoming students that under the rules of the United Methodist Church openly gay individuals would not be ordained and gay marriage is not accepted. Though Dean Hays is long gone, some students continue to voice discontent. During the state-of-the-school speech last month, Dean Elaine Heath was interrupted by LGBTQ students carrying bullhorns and chanting “I am somebody, and I won’t be stopped by nobody.”

With prepared speeches and a room peppered with supporters, the protesters presented a list of 15 demands with a timetable.  Their requirements range from gender and sexuality training for faculty and staff to a need-based scholarship for a queer or transgender student. Higher-education reporter Ray Gronberg of The Herald Sun covered the protest and the aftermath, and he joins host Frank Stasio to break down the issues and Dean Heath’s agenda moving forward.