Written by Don Byrd
Lawmakers in California are considering a bill that would subject colleges and universities receiving state funds, including religious schools, to state non-discrimination law. The bill specifically notes that religious colleges may segregate housing accommodations by gender or marital status, but only as long as transgender students and same-sex couples are given the same opportunities.
The Christian Science Monitor reports:
The California legislation, passed by the state Senate in May and taken up by the state Assembly on Thursday, would allow lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students to sue religious educational institutions if they were denied married student housing, dorms, or bathrooms consistent with their gender identities, or otherwise subject to rules of conduct that singled out their sexuality or identity.
“It just seems hard to believe that a state could punish a private, Christian educational institution for simply having behavioral expectations for their students and staff, and in accordance with their faith-based teachings,” says Chelsen Vicari, the Evangelical programs director at the Institute on Religion & Democracy in Washington, D.C. “This doesn’t make sense to me.”
The bill would impact religious institutions that either receive state funds, or enroll students who receive state student financial aid. It also requires institutions claiming an exemption to federal law as a religious college to make specific disclosures on campus and to prospective students.
You can read the bill here.