Ky. Top Court: No State Funds for Baptist College

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Kentucky's Supreme Court has denied a Baptist university's request for $11 million in state funds.

Lawmakers had earmarked the money to build a new pharmacy school at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.

However, the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, a gay rights group, challenged the request in 2006 after the school expelled a homosexual student for disclosing his sexual orientation on the Internet.

The high court said giving public funds to a private, religious university violates Kentucky's constitution.

"If Kentucky needs to expand the opportunities for pharmacy school education within the commonwealth, the Kentucky General Assembly may most certainly address that pressing public need, but not by appropriating public funds to an educational institution that is religiously affiliated," Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson wrote for the majority, upholding a 2008 circuit court that blocked the funding.

University officials said the ruling served as a death knell for the proposed pharmacy school.

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