Christian Schools Targeted in LGBT California Legislative Move
(TRUNEWS) Christian schools and colleges in California have found themselves in the crosshairs of legislative moves of the LGBT agenda to hamstring admissions and even missions of the educational institutions.
The day could soon come to pass that students that attend Christian schools would not even have to profess a confession in Jesus Christ.
Many of these schools leaders find themselves in conflict with what the Bible teaches, and their accreditation status with the state of California.
The loss of accreditation could result in the loss of schools qualifying for state and federal grants and loans which many students rely on to finance their education.
The push for restrictions is being spearheaded by Ricardo Lara, an openly gay Senator in the California legislature. He has been a strong proponent of the LGBT agenda in the state, and as such, has found himself at odds with Biblical Christians.
The following press release outlines his proposal and plans to found Christian institutions to go against their Biblical mandate and misson.
Today, Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) announced legislation to close a loophole that allows private universities to discriminate against students and staff based on their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Senate Bill 1146 would require universities who are granted a Title IX exemption to disclose that information to the California Student Aid Commission and disseminate the information to students and staff. The bill would also allow an individual that has encountered discrimination at a school claiming a Title IX exemption to pursue a remedy through a civil action. SB1146 cleared the Senate Education Committee this morning.
“All students deserve to feel safe in institutions of higher education, regardless of whether they are public or private,” said Senator Lara. “California has established strong protections for the LGBTQ community and private universities should not be able to use faith as an excuse to discriminate and avoid complying with state laws. No university should have a license to discriminate.”
At the federal level, Title IX prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and gender nonconformity in education programs and activities that receive any federal funding. However, there is a little known loophole that private universities use to avoid complying with Title IX. If a university believes compliance with Title IX would conflict with their values they may submit an exemption request to the U.S. Department of Education. The Department has very little discretion and most requests are granted.
Over the last three years there has been a significant uptick in the number of universities who apply and receive an exemption to Title IX. Only one school was granted an exemption in 2013. Today there are at least 43 schools that have received an exemption nationally. There are at least six schools in California that currently have an exemption. Currently, the universities that receive Title IX exemptions do not have to disclose their status to students or staff. Many students are completely unaware of the exemption and what the potential consequences would be in the event their sexual orientation or gender identity did not align with the universities values. Students and staff across the country have reported finding out about the exemption, only after being expelled from school or fired from their job.
Recently at a university in southern California, a student took a leave of absence and during his time away came out as gay on social media. When it was time to return to school, the university did not want to readmit him. Transgender students have also reported being denied access to gender appropriate housing and some have been expelled as a result of their revealing their gender identity. Currently these students and staff have no recourse.
The bill is supported by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Equality California and the Transgender Law Center.
“The Los Angeles LGBT Center is proud to support SB 1146, to prevent discrimination in higher education. Students and staff have a right to know when their school requests a license to discriminate against the LGBT community. This bill will protect LGBT people who work and study at private universities and will allow all Californians be more informed,” said Dave Garcia, Director of Policy and Community Building at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
“Prospective students have a right to know if a university they are considering attending discriminates against LGBT people,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “This bill would let any school seeking to skirt federal anti-discrimination protections know that its policies would be public, and that anyone discriminated against would have legal recourse.”
(LifeSiteNews.com) – Conservative Christians are rallying against passage of a bill that they say would open up more than 40 private Christian colleges and universities to discrimination lawsuits from homosexual and transgender students.
SB 1146 would significantly narrow the number of California colleges and universities that are able to claim exemptions from federal Title IX anti-discrimination law, applying the exemption only to seminaries and schools of divinity.
This excludes most Christian colleges that broadly cater to students of faith.
The Obama administration has made it clear in recent years that they interpret Title IX exemptions as applying to “gender identity” and sexual orientation – thereby putting Christian schools who believe in Biblical sexual morality between a rock and a hard place.
That, by all accounts, is the purpose of the new California bill. The bill was authored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and sponsors include the gay rights organization Equality California and the far-left ACLU.
According to critics, without the exemption, any students who are expelled or denied housing because of sexual misbehaviour, or who are unhappy to be required to attend religious services or take religious content courses, could sue their school.
The bill also requires religious colleges that get state funds to disclose their religious beliefs about homosexuality to applicants as well as to prominently display on campus their exemption from anti-discrimination law.
Numerous Christian groups, such as the California-based National Center for Law & Policy, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the California Family Council and the California Family Alliance are all lobbying state legislators against bill.
Fresno Pacific University president Dr. Richard Kriegbaum said in a statement “We support the bill’s intent to protect students from harassment of all kinds. However, limiting the religious freedoms of Christian and other religious institutions is not the way to accomplish this goal.”
“This bill would require us to publicly and continuously announce that we discriminate against LGBT persons in the areas of residential student life and employment,” he said. “While we require all employees to live by what we believe to be the biblical standard for sexual relations as a marriage between one man and one woman, we admit students without prejudice against LGBT persons. We hold our behavioral standards but we seek to walk with everyone in their journey toward the center in Christ.”
A second bill that would have removed state subsidies for students attending such schools failed to get out of committee in the state’s legislative assembly. But Senate Bill 1146 easily passed the upper house and is now headed for the Assembly which is equally dominated by Democrats friendly to the LGBT activist cause.
According to Biola University, “Faith-based institutions in California would no longer be able to require a profession of faith of their students…to integrate faith throughout the teaching curriculum…to require chapel attendance for students… to require core units of Bible courses [and] athletic teams would no longer be able to lead faith-based community service programs.”
But homosexual rights groups such as Human Rights Watch claim the bill is aimed to protect innocent LGBT high schoolers from ending up on a hostile campus whence they could be expelled at any time for being themselves.
“Religious beliefs have been used as grounds for segregation and slavery,” said Geoff Kors, government policy director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a San Francisco-based legal advocacy group. And Assemblyman Evan Low, who sponsored the failed bill 1888 that would have de-funded religious schools, is quoted in Edsource.org as terming religious schools “the worst of the worst in terms of institutions that discriminate.”
SB 1146 would retain protection from discrimination suits only for seminaries and divinity schools. According to critics schools that teach all subjects from a religious perspective could in the long term be forced to shut down or operate as if the beliefs they taught didn’t apply outside the classroom.
Gregory Baylor of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy group, told WND TV/Radio America that “It would be very unsurprising to me if some of these schools and the students who would be harmed would commence litigation if this bill becomes law.”
The bill “violates constitutional protections of religious freedom, of freedom of association [and] equal protection of the laws.”
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