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Duke students refuse to read award-winning novel, say it’s against ‘Christian moral beliefs’

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Duke University (File photo)

DURHAM, N.C. — Some freshmen students at Duke University are refusing to read “Fun Home,” an award-winning graphic novel that was assigned on their summer reading list.

According to the Duke Chronicle, freshman Brian Grasso posted in the Class of 2019 Facebook page on July 26 that he would not read the book “because of the graphic visual depictions of sexuality.”

The graphic novel, which has recently been adapted into a critically-acclaimed musical, tells the story its author Alison Bechdel coming to terms with her homosexuality and discovering that her father, who commits suicide, was gay.

Grasso’s post sparked conversation among students, with many agreeing and disagreeing with his stance.

“I feel as if I would have to compromise my personal Christian moral beliefs to read it,” Grasso wrote on the Facebook page. “Duke did not seem to have people like me in mind. It was like Duke didn’t know we existed, which surprises me.”

Grasso told the Chronicle he has received messages from students thanking him. He said he knew the post would be controversial but that he didn’t want others who shared his beliefs to feel alone.