SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former Brigham Young University student has settled with a university-contracted apartment complex he sued after he was evicted on the heels of telling his roommates he was attracted to men.
Andrew David White issued a statement Thursday afternoon through his attorney saying he and the Village at South Campus in Provo reached an agreement. Terms were not disclosed.
White sued the complex and the owner, Peak Joaquin Holdings, accusing the complex manager of orchestrating his eviction after White’s roommates kicked him out and assaulted him after he revealed to one of them his feelings of same-sex attraction.
White said in the statement he stands against the discrimination he suffered at the hand of his roommates but that the complex didn’t discriminate against him. He said the lawsuit was over landlord tenant law.
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 of rules set by the Mormon-owned university including no premarital sex, alcohol consumption or 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.”
White and his attorney, Daniel Ybarra, declined further comment on the settlement.
Messages left for Lance Freeman, manager of the apartment complex, weren’t immediately returned.
No attorneys are listed for Peak Joaquin Holdings in court filings.
The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the lawsuit
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 regardless of the new law, students who sign up to live in apartment complexes contracted by BYU agreed to abide by the honor code and other rules or risk 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.
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 was seeking $101,000 in damages for the financial losses and emotional trauma.
A former Brigham Young University student is suing a university-contracted apartment complex that he says evicted him after he told his roommates he was attracted to the same sex.
Andrew David White’s civil lawsuit filed last week says he was physically assaulted by his roommates after they came to believe he was gay. He accuses Lance Freeman, the manager at The Village at South Campus in Provo, of orchestrating his eviction shortly after that incident.
An eviction notice says White violated BYU’s honor code, but doesn’t specify which part. It also says he violated other complex rules.
White’s attorney, Daniel Ybarra, declined comment. He says he is in settlement negotiations with the company that owns the complex, Peak Joaquin Holdings.
Freeman could not immediately be reached. No attorneys are listed for Peak Joaquin Holdings.