A former Brigham Young University student has reached a settlement with his landlord, after filing a lawsuit for over $101,000 worth of emotional and property damage that occurred after his coming out.
Andrew David White was evicted January 23 from The Village at South Campus, "BYU-approved" housing that enforces the Mormon school's honor code, which includes prohibiting sexual conduct before marriage and between people of the same sex.
In court documents, White alleged that prior to his formal eviction, his housemates forcefully ejected him from his apartment. The incident occurred after he had told one of them "in confidence" on January 7 that he felt attraction toward other men. The housemate later relayed this information to the others in the apartment.
On January 13, an argument over food escalated into threats of violence, "abusive language," and White being pushed out of the apartment. The other men also threw many of his items into the street, reports Salt Lake City TV station KUTV, with White sustaining bruising to his ribs that required medical treatment.
White's roommates said "he should not be permitted to live in the apartment, to study at Brigham Young University, be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or work at the Missionary Training Center" due to his "homosexuality," according to court papers.
The apartment manager, Lance Freeman, initially offered White temporary housing in one of the vacant units, but later served him an eviction notice ten days after the incident, alleging "nuisance." Freeman had moved the remainder of White's belongings from his former residence into storage.
Court documents state that Freeman had been telling several employees of the apartment that White was gay, which White claimed "led directly to an assault on him and a loss of living quarters."
White released the following statement Thursday night, after reaching a settlement with the landlord:
"When I filed the lawsuit against Peak Joaquin Holdings, dba The Village at South Campus, it was because I believed they wrongfully evicted me and The Village disagreed. This lawsuit was about landlord tenant law and, through negotiations, we have reached an agreement that both parties have accepted. I never made any claim that they discriminated against me.
"I stand strongly against any form of invidious discrimination, particularly the type of behavior that my roommates exhibited toward me. However, my complaint against The Village did not allege discrimination by them. I didn't allege that in my complaint and I won't allege it now.
"I appreciate the attention the media has given to my case, however, I have settled any remaining issues I have with the owner and management and have no further comment on this matter as it is a private matter that has been settled and I ask that my privacy be respected."