Tags: lgbt | exemption | colleges

More Colleges Seek Exemption from LGBT Anti-bias Rules, Rights Group Says

Image: More Colleges Seek Exemption from LGBT Anti-bias Rules, Rights Group Says

Saturday, 19 Dec 2015 10:55 AM

A growing number of U.S. universities are seeking religious exemptions from civil rights laws barring discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, according to a report by LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

The group called on the Department of Education to make the exemption process more public so that students could know they might suffer discrimination at schools they choose to attend.

Colleges controlled by religious groups are allowed to ask for exemption from Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bans sex discrimination for programs that get federal funds, but more recently has been used to protect gay and transgender students from discrimination.

Human Rights Campaign said 43 schools sought the exemption in 2015, up from a single school in 2013. Of 56 requests for exemptions in total, 33 schools are now allowed to discriminate on the basis of gender identity and 23 schools on the basis of sexual orientation, the group said. It said the exemptions allow colleges to discriminate in areas such as admissions, sports programs, housing and financial aid.

The Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education has granted the exemptions to schools that operate under statements of faith and religious tenets stating that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that gender is assigned by God, according to official letters copied in the group's report, which was published on Friday.

According to the report, schools such as George Fox University, California Baptist University, Grace University and Pepperdine University have used waivers to refuse to house transgender students in dorms of their gender identity, to expel gay students, to demand lesbian students return aid money, and to refuse to acknowledge transgender students' gender identity.

The group called for a more public process, saying the department should publish a yearly report on colleges that seek exemptions and oblige schools to inform students about the waivers.

"If this trend continues, many LGBT students may find themselves enrolled at schools that are granted the legal right to discriminate against them partway through their degree program," the group said.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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A growing number of U.S. universities are seeking religious exemptions from civil rights laws barring discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, according to a report by LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.
lgbt, exemption, colleges
363
2015-55-19
Saturday, 19 Dec 2015 10:55 AM
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