University of Memphis investigating after students say they were kicked out of a party for being gay

Updated: Oct. 27, 2019 at 10:10 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The University of Memphis is investigating an incident off campus where students claim they were verbally attacked with homophobic slurs.

“We were just wanting to have a night out for fun,” said Benjamin Buckley, student.

“He’s like, we’re being kicked out because we’re gay. I wasn’t sure if I should believe him, like is this some sort of joke,” said Luke Chapman, student.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a joke.

Benjamin Buckley and Luke Chapman say they went to a party with some friends at an off-campus house on Marion Avenue, hosted by a fraternity.

While enjoying the party, they say several male students forcibly kicked them out of the house, pushing them into the rain because they are gay.

“When he chucked us out it was something along the lines of, ‘you don’t belong here f*****,’” said Chapman.

“He was screaming at us and called us f***** and all these things. And he looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to beat the f*** out of you. I’m going to beat the life out of you,” said Buckley.

“He just went, ‘go back to Great Britain, f*****,’” said Chapman.

After more profanities and threats, Buckley and Chapman were able to leave with their friends.

That night, Chapman wrote a post on Facebook about the incident and was amazed with the response.

“That morning I think I had so many messages of support and so many people messaging me offering to help,” said Chapman.

University of Memphis officials also saw the post and are now investigating the incident.

U of M President Dr. David Rudd released the following statement:

“An off-campus incident involving possible bigotry has been brought to my attention and has been referred for investigation. The Office of the Dean of Students is in the process of reaching out to students and others potentially involved.”

“I think those that were responsible need to be held accountable,” said Chapman.

“I’m really happy the university is taking a step and like, literally messaging us,” said Buckley.

Buckley and Chapman want the students responsible to be punished, but they also want to start a larger conversation about the issue of homophobia on campus.

“I want the focus to be on look what they did and see how it’s bad and see how it actually reflects a lot of what’s happening in society today, so we can understand that and grow from that,” said Buckley.

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