A young woman claims that a small FloridaChristian university in West Palm Beach withdrew her offer of admission because she is gay. Now, after a public backlash, the school denies the student's claims, but she says she has receipts that call the school's denial into question.
A video posted by Gianna Palmo last Thursday to her TikTok account, where she has just more than 5,000 followers, caught the attention of users.
In the video, she claims that a school to which she had been accepted, Palm Beach Atlantic University, rescinded her admission when administrators discovered she was gay.
"how is this allowed in 2022??!! anywayss attack PALM BEACH ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY," she wrote in the video description.
People have viewed the video more than 1 million times.
Several weeks ago, Palmo says that the head of the admissions board called to inform her that her recent Instagram postings required a conversation.
"The only recent thing was a picture of me and my girlfriend kissing in front of the Pride flag in New York City," she explains in a subsequent video.
Commenting on Instagram, a representative using the university's handle, @pbauniversity, wrote, "PBA was informed that Gianna Palmo withdrew her deposit from the University. At no time did PBA rescind her admission -- instead, the university was making plans for her arrival. We wish Gianna all the best in her future endeavors."
As a follow-up to that denial, Palmo posted another video -- this time a phone conversation she appears to be having with a Palm Beach Atlantic University admissions representative.
When "ten, 20, 60, 80 girls start living in the same residence hall, people coming from different backgrounds, people coming from different parts of the country, there are different standards for what is considered acceptable behavior," the admissions representative clearly says on the call.
"And then beyond that, PBA has standards that it sets for conduct that relates to PBA's mission, philosophy, and our standards for how we live our lives according to the Bible," she continues.
Students who attend the university are expected to adhere to the code of conduct. "Palm Beach Atlantic University affirms the biblical understanding of personhood, sexuality, gender, and Christian marriage," states The Navigator, the university's student handbook. "We believe that Christian marriage is between a man and a woman."
It continues, "Sexual immorality, including fornication, adultery, and homosexual behavior, is prohibited in Scripture ... because our bodies are 'a temple of the Holy Spirit.' ... In addition, all use or involvement with pornographic materials is sinful and forbidden at PBA, as are all forms of sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment. ... PBA expects that its students, faculty, and staff will neither engage in nor promote views of sexuality or gender expression that contradicts biblical standards."
Florida has been at the forefront of attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. Gov. Ron DeSantis's press secretary, Christina Pushaw initiated the dangerous and false attack that queer and trans people were "groomers" during the debate on the state's infamous "don't say gay bill," which legislators passed and DeSantis signed into law. It restricts discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, and it went into effect July 1.