NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Is Belmont University giving gay and lesbian students on campus a raw deal?
Some say yes, after the private university denied them the opportunity to form their own group.
It all started out as a student's idea on Facebook for a gay and lesbian student support group at Belmont University.
"I know a lot of the gay community at Belmont feels marginalized and feels like they don't have a place to meet on campus," said Robbie Maris, president of Bridge Builders.
Robbie Maris believes Bridge Builders would work at Belmont, where diversity is promoted.
But after two years, and even after student groups approved the idea, university officials say it won't happen.
Robbie doesn't understand why his group that was called divisive and problematic was shot down, but Belmont approved the formation of a pro-life student group.
They told NewsChannel 5 in a statement, "Recognizing the importance of mutual respect and diverse opinions from Christian perspectives and the challenges of cultivating such informal dialog on these issues, the university chose not to meet their request, but to create a university-led opportunity for this discussion. Beginning last spring, a university sponsored discussion group on these issues has convened twice monthly and expects to continue for the duration of this academic year.
For Robbie, this isn't enough. "It's for an hour, the group that is bridge builders needs so much more than that two hours that we get to meet a month."
Belmont's decision isn't stopping Robbie from trying to prove his group has student interest. Tuesday, he gathered nearly 600 signatures of support. He'll continue his petition drive next week, and eventually show his results to the university.