In April 2006, Kentucky legislators approved a $12 million grant to the University of the Cumberlands, a private school in Williamsburg, Ky., affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
The university expelled student Jason Johnson in April 2006 after he posted comments about his sexual orientation on MySpace.com.
Ernie Fletcher, the governor named in the lawsuit, had asked a judge to determine the constitutionality of using taxpayer money for private institutions of higher education. His successor, Steven Beshear, said he agreed with the ruling and his office would not appeal the decision.
This was one of the primary reasons for the Soulforce Equality Ride visit to the Cumberlands in 2007 (story).
In an opinion requested by Governor Fletcher, on March 6, 2008 Franklin Circuit Court Special Judge, Roger Crittenden, issued an order that rendered the appropriations made for the pharmacy school an unconstitutional establishment of religion under Sections 2 and 189 of the Kentucky Constitution. In addition, the court ruled that a permanent scholarship program created for the pharmacy school by the 2006-07 Kentucky Budget bill was in violation of Section 51 of the Kentucky Constitution.
Senator Vernie McGaha, one 13 lawmakers who sided with the university, said he was unsure whether the decision would be appealed.
"Where we go from here will be a collective decision," McGaha told Louisville's Courier-Journal newspaper. "I don't agree with his ruling."
But, people on the loosing side often disagree!