Baptist schools seek waiver from LBGT discrimination ban

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (BNG) — The federal government has granted waivers to more than two dozen religious institutions of higher learning from Title IX, which protects LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual) students from discrimination.

Carson-Newman University, affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, recently received exemption for “religious tenets regarding marriage, sex outside of marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy and abortion.”

Other Baptist schools requesting an exemption include Judson College and University of Mobile in Alabama, Williams Baptist College in Arkansas, Baptist College of Florida, University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky, Louisiana College, William Carey University in Mississippi, Oklahoma Baptist University, Charleston Southern University and North Greenville University in South Carolina and Union University in Tennessee.

East Texas Baptist University, Howard Payne University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor all won Title IX exemption with aid from a resolution on “transgender issues” passed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas executive board in February.

Right-to-discriminate waivers were relatively rare until the Obama administration changed Title IX in 2014 to prohibit discrimination “based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity” in an effort to combat student-on-student violence against LGBT individuals.

According to Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization that supports LGBTQ students on college campuses, 15 Southern Baptist Convention colleges and universities obtaining waivers all together received more than $52 million in federal aid in 2014. Combined educated a total of 30,517 students.­

About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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