“Families and young people deserve to know who these campuses are. These schools listed are not loving, welcoming, safe spaces to live, learn and grow. They openly discriminate against young people in the worst possible way – by using religion-based bigotry to justify prejudice, fear and hate,” said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride Executive Director. “Campus Pride and our partners are committed to ensuring all youth have safe places, including our LGBTQ youth of faith.”
Today the U.S. Department of Education through its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released all records related to colleges and universities requesting a Title IX exemption. The data shows the original request letter from the campus and the OCR response to date – and whether the status is granted or pending.
Since December the number of campuses receiving a Title IX exemption increased by nearly twenty-five percent from 37 campuses to 46. All of these campuses have specifically requested a Title IX exemption to openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth. The number of pending requests increased from 22 campuses in December 2015 to 29 campuses today, representing nearly a third more than just five months ago.
“No student should fear for their safety in higher education — and no college should be allowed to openly discriminate against youth using religion-based bigotry. Tax payer dollars are being used to sanction discrimination toward LGBTQ youth. This is harmful to these young people. It is shameful and wrong,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride.
Campus Pride confirmed via email with OCR that Brigham Young University – Idaho has also been granted a Title IX exemption to discriminate in a case related to a transgender student. BYU-Idaho, as of today, was not listed on the released records from OCR.
“Families and young people deserve to know who these campuses are. These schools listed are not loving, welcoming, safe spaces to live, learn and grow. They openly discriminate against young people in the worst possible way – by using religion-based bigotry to justify prejudice, fear and hate,” said Windmeyer. “Campus Pride and our partners are committed to ensuring all youth have safe places, including our LGBTQ youth of faith.”
In an odd twist, Pepperdine University in January this year formally asked the US Department of Education to “withdraw its 1976 request for an exemption of certain provisions.” The letter states that “the University is committed to complying with Title IX.”
Pepperdine University had originally requested a Title IX exemption in 1976 to limit the role of women in preaching, ministry and consideration of jobs that were against the church’s teachings. The request in 1976 also dealt with premarital sex and pregnancy outside of wedlock for heterosexuals and homosexuals. The letter written by Pepperdine Univeristy President Andrew Benton to withdraw the 1976 Title IX exemption specifically asks to be removed “from any lists of universities holding a Title IX exemption.”
Any educational institution that is “controlled by a religious organization” may apply for a Title IX exemption if it “would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.” In December, Campus Pride first released the #ShameList for the purpose of calling out the harmful and shameful acts of religion-based prejudice and bigotry. The list has been updated with the DOE records and can be found online. The list names each institution who has requested a Title IX exemption to openly discriminate against LGBTQ people due to their anti-LGBTQ religion-based bigotry.
Since this past December 2015, the nine recent campuses receiving Title IX exemptions to openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth include: Brigham Young University-Idaho – Rexburg, Idaho; Clear Creek Baptist Bible College – Pineville, Kentucky; Hardin-Simmons University – Abilene, Texas; John Paul the Great Catholic University – Escondido, California; Rhema Bible Training College – Tulsa, Oklahoma; Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary – Wake Forest, North Carolina; Southern Nazarene University – Bethany, Oklahoma; Southern Wesleyan University – Central, South Carolina; and William Carey University – Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Find the full updated listing online at Campus Pride’s #ShameList.
Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups building future leaders and safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The organization provides resources and services to thousands of college students and nearly 1400 campuses annually. Learn more online at CampusPride.org.