These LGBTQ students have sued the Department of Education in an Oregon federal court over numerous discrimination against them by colleges and universities because of the religious exemption that exists in the U.S. Constitution.
Title IX prohibits institutions from discriminating against students based on sex in their programs, but there is an exemption for religious institutions.
“The religious exemption to Title IX, however, seemingly permits the Department to breach its duty as to the more than 100,000 sexual and gender minority students attending religious colleges and universities where discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is codified in campus policies and openly practiced,” the suit says.
The action, therefore, seeks to “put an end to the U.S. Department of Education’s complicity in the abuses and unsafe conditions thousands of LGBTQ+ students endure at hundreds of taxpayer-funded, religious colleges and universities.”
Indeed, some students have testified to being denied admission, expelled, or forced into conversion therapy at their schools.
This lawsuit comes at a time when Democrats are trying to bring protections to LGBTQ people, both in states like North Carolina that I mentioned the other day, and on a federal level with the Equality Act, which extends anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people in education, housing, and employment.
The U.S. House passed the Equality Act earlier this year and will soon be in the Senate.
This is the first time students have banded together for a joint lawsuit. We will of course follow the progress of the trial.