Was Duke’s College Republican chair impeached because he’s gay?

Headshot of Justin RobinetteJustin Robinette certainly thinks so. The Duke University junior was chair of the College Republicans until he was ousted because, he says, of his sexual orientation.

One of the “official” reasons cited for the impeachment is “conduct unbecoming of a person in a position of leadership, but Robinette tells a different story.

“Comments were made directly to me and my executive board before and after the meeting concerning my sexual orientation, calling me a supporter of the faggot center, calling me ironic, calling me disgusting.

Cliff Satell, former vice-chairman of the university’s College Republicans and president of the Duke Conservative Union, agrees.

Although several members of the organization’s executive board knew Robinette was gay, executive director Samuel Tasher found out only the weekend before the meeting took place, Satell and Robinette said.

“The fact that it went from a few people knowing to a lot of people knowing was a catalyst to his impeachment,” Satell said. “If he wasn’t gay, he would still be chairman.”

That seems about right. While the official line for why Robinette was removed is probably enough to keep the group out of trouble, I would imagine the anti-gay harassment Robinette endured are grounds for some sort of action. Thoughts?

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