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Monday, December 21, 2015

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

Updating this ILB post from Dec. 9th, here is an important related story from the Dec. 18th Washington Post, reported by Nick Anderson, and headed "Religious colleges get exemptions to anti-bias law; critics denounce ‘hidden discrimination’ against LGBT students." the long story begins:

Dozens of religious colleges have sought exemptions in recent years from federal prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, saying the waivers are needed to protect school policies consistent with their faith, according to a new report.

The government has granted more than 30 of these requests since 2013, the Human Rights Campaign said in a report released Friday. The schools that obtained religious waivers from the anti-discrimination law known as Title IX ranged from Baptist-affiliated Anderson University in South Carolina to Quaker-affiliated George Fox University in Oregon.

HRC, which supports civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, said its report shows a pattern of “hidden discrimination” against LGBT students in housing, admissions and other aspects of campus life.

The findings are based on correspondence between colleges and the Department of Education obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

“There is an alarming and growing trend of schools quietly seeking the right to discriminate against LGBT students, and not disclosing that information publicly,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We believe that religious liberty is a bedrock principle of our nation, however faith should never be used as a guise for discrimination. Prospective students and their parents deserve greater transparency, and we urge the Department of Education to take action by helping to increase accountability and to ensure that no student unknowingly enrolls in a school that intends to discriminate against them.”

On Friday, eight U.S. senators urged the Obama administration to publish religious waiver requests on a Web site to help keep students informed as they make decisions about where to go to college. Transparency “will ensure that institutions controlled by religious organizations publicly account for their motives and justifications for seeking these waivers,” the lawmakers wrote.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 21, 2015 12:54 PM
Posted to Indiana Government