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Former-BYU student says he was evicted from apartment over same-sex attraction

Former-BYU student says he was evicted from apartment over same-sex attraction
The Village at South Campus in Provo, Utah.
The Village at South Campus in Provo, Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY — A former Brigham Young University student has sued a university-contracted apartment complex that he says evicted him after he told his roommates he was attracted to men.

Andrew David White’s civil lawsuit filed last week says he was physically assaulted in January by his roommates after they came to believe he was gay and kicked him out of their apartment.

White is suing Lance Freeman, manager at The Village at South Campus in Provo, accusing him of orchestrating his eviction shortly after that incident. He also sued the company that runs the complex, Peak Joaquin Holdings.

An eviction notice included in the lawsuit says White violated BYU’s honor code but doesn’t specify which part. The honor code is signed by all BYU students, requiring them to follow a set or rules set by the Mormon-owned university including no premarital sex, alcohol consumption and tattoos, among other things.

Simply expressing a same-sex attraction is not considered an honor code violation, but acting on it would be, said BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins, speaking generally and not specifically about White’s case.

The eviction notice also says White violated lease policies, residential living standards and the “quiet enjoyment of other residents.”

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White’s attorney, Daniel Ybarra, declined to elaborate or discuss the lawsuit because he doesn’t want to jeopardize settlement negotiations he’s having with attorneys for Peak Joaquin Holdings.

Messages left for Freeman were not immediately returned. No attorneys are listed for Peak Joaquin Holdings in court filings.

The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the lawsuit. (

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The eviction notice against was filed four days before high-ranking leaders with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a campaign calling for state lawmakers around the country to craft laws that protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from housing discrimination while also protecting people who assert their religious beliefs.

That led the Utah legislature to pass a landmark bill that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation when it comes to housing or employment. Religious groups and organizations are exempt from the requirement, which includes BYU housing.

But even before the new law, students who signed up to live in apartment complexes contracted by BYU agreed to abide by the honor code and other rules or risk facing consequences, Jenkins said.

When White was allegedly assaulted, BYU was notified and opened an investigation that is now complete, Jenkins said. But the school is not disclosing the findings due to confidentially concerns.

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White was a student when the incident occurred in January but is no longer enrolled, she said. He was not expelled for honor code violations, meaning he likely withdrew on his own, she said.

His lawsuit says he has suffered emotional stress and struggled so much in classes that he’ll need to repeat the semester to get caught up.

He is seeking $101,000 in damages for the financial losses and emotional trauma.

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