The Human Rights Campaign — America’s largest gay and transgender civil rights group — is celebrating this week’s decision by the U.S. Department of Education to create a searchable database targeting faith-based colleges and universities that have sought exemptions from federal gay and transgender rights regulations because the regulations violate their religious beliefs.
Clearly, the gay rights group commands the immediate attention of the Obama administration. The announcement that the Education Department will now pointedly identify such religious schools comes just a few weeks after the Human Rights Campaign released a Dec. 18 report naming and attempting to shame the schools.
“We have been alarmed by the growing trend of schools quietly seeking the right to discriminate against LGBT students, and not disclosing that information publicly,” Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said in a Tuesday press release lauding the Obama administration’s decision.
“We believe that religious liberty is a bedrock principle of our nation,” Griffin assured on Tuesday. “However,” he firmly added, “faith should never be used as a guise for discrimination.”
The gay rights group indicates that it flummoxed at the way in which religious institutions can sidestep Title IX, a 1972 federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools. (RELATED: Meet The Taxpayer-Funded Administrator Who Thinks Title IX Supersedes The US Constitution)
The Human Rights Campaign’s press release also boasts that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are assaulted at significantly higher rates than heterosexual people are “on America’s campuses.”
The December report spotlights 56 colleges and universities where religion plays a prominent role on campus and which have received exemptions. Among the schools listed are North Greenville University, a Southern Baptist school in South Carolina, and the University of Dallas, a Catholic school famous for its great books program.
Notably, the Human Rights Campaign manages to cite a nonexistent school called Wheaton University in its set of six sob stories about alleged discrimination at religious schools.
There is no “Wheaton University” in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign meant to refer to Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school in the suburbs of Chicago. (RELATED: Obamacare Contraception Mandate Causes Christian College To End Student Health Insurance)
Other sob stories relate to the experiences of two transgender students, Jayce at Quaker-affiliated George Fox University and Domaine Javier at California Baptist University.
Jayce — last name unknown — was a female who was in the midst of hormone therapy to make herself appear male. During this process, she wanted to live in an all-male residence hall on the private George Fox campus. School officials denied her request. (RELATED: Christian College Slapped With Title IX Claim For Denying Transgender Female Room In All-Male Dorm)
Javier, a biologically male nursing student who was dressing as a female, sued California Baptist for the princely sum of $500,000 after being expelled for checking the box indicating female on the school’s admission application but then shrewdly deciding to appear in an MTV documentary about transgender people. (RELATED: Transgender Student Sues After Getting Expelled For Failing To Disclose Being Biologically Male)
Javier lost on four of five counts, but did end up winning $4,000 because California Baptist attempted to ban him from places on campuses that are open to the general public. (RELATED: Transgender Student Thrilled After Losing 80 Percent Of Lawsuit Against Baptist College)