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Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Bethel College granted waiver from protections for GLBT students, employees"

Margaret Fosmoe has this long story today in the South Bend Tribune. A few quotes:

MISHAWAKA — Bethel College earlier this year sought and received a federal waiver from Title IX requirements intended to protect LGBT students and employees from discrimination.

The waiver doesn’t mean that individuals who are attracted to the same sex are prohibited from attending or graduating from Bethel, but rather that they must be celibate, just as Bethel’s unmarried heterosexual students are expected to be, Bethel President Gregg Chenoweth said Wednesday in a telephone interview. The same standard applies to employees, he said.

“When we admit a student, we do not require a profession of faith or a declaration of sexual identity. We have students who are atheists and we have students who are gay,” he said.

The exemption hasn’t made any practical difference in Bethel’s operations, the president said. “Our sense is this hasn’t really caused much of a ripple on campus,” he said.

Citing the college’s status as a religious institution, Chenoweth in May asked the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to waive portions of Title IX that would apply to students and employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pregnant out of wedlock or in same-sex marriages. The request was approved as were requests by several other colleges and universities across the country. * * *

Chenoweth sought exemption from parts of Title IX that might otherwise require the college to make restroom or locker room accommodations for transgender individuals, permit same-sex dating relationships between students or permit transgender students on athletic teams not of their birth gender. He also requested exemption from parts of the law that might otherwise require the college to enroll a student or employ a faculty or staff member who is pregnant out of wedlock, terminates a pregnancy, has sex outside of traditional marriage, or is engaged in a homosexual relationship or same-sex marriage. * * *

Bethel employees are required to sign a covenant of lifestyle that they will adhere to the college’s Christian standards, including not engaging in premarital or extramarital sexual relations.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 9, 2015 04:53 PM
Posted to Indiana Government