You can’t say that Christian Colleges aren’t keeping up with the times. Now they’ve discovered transgender people. As a target of discrimination, of course.
Two conservative Christian colleges have been granted an exemption to federal education regulations on religious grounds. The regulation, Title IX, provides nondiscrimination protections that the Department of Education recently determined apply to transgender students. Needless to say, two colleges have stepped forward to say that they don’t want to offer those protections because they want to kick transgender students out of their schools.
The colleges, Spring Arbor University in Michigan and Simpson University in California, argue that they should be able to expel students at will because the Bible tells them so.
“The university has deeply held religious beliefs, based upon Biblical principles and the Book of Discipline, which do not allow for any sexuality, other than heterosexuality,” Spring Arbor wrote in its request to the Department of Education. “The university also believes, based upon Biblical principles, that a person cannot change their birth gender.” Spring Arbor also sought–and was granted–the right to expel lesbian and gay students.
Simpson was equally unapologetic about this request. “[S]exual practices that are divorced from loving, conventional relationships between men and women pervert God’s intentions and result in sinful behavior that ruptures relationships between men and women, and erodes the relationship between human beings and their creator.”
The Department of Education said that it had no choice but to grant the exceptions, which are readily available on the basis of religious grounds.
Spring Arbor has a history of anti-transgender discrimination. In 2007, the school reached an undisclosed agreement with a former dean who claimed to have been demoted and restricted to online instruction after transitioning.
Of course, the schools don’t have any compunction about taking federal money. They just don’t want to follow federal policy. Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, said that colleges like Spring Arbor and Simpson are “dinosaurs of bigotry.” We look forward to the day when their policies are extinct.