BYU Could Lose Accreditation Over Transgender Issue

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Brigham Young University (BYU) may lose its accreditation after discontinuing speech adaptation services for transgender clients.

Utah’s BYU stopped offering gender-affirming speech therapy classes for young transgender people earlier in the year, according to UPI. Following the decision, the Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), started a probe into whether the Provo-based institution will still be accredited, The College Fix reported.

BYU is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who openly oppose transgenderism, according to the outlet.

The religious group believes that “members and nonmembers who identify as transgender—and their family and friends—should be treated with sensitivity, kindness, compassion, and an abundance of Christlike love,” but the “intended meaning of gender in the family proclamation is biological sex at birth.”

The church restricts members from sex reassignment surgeries, as well as from social transitioning, such as changing one’s clothes, names, or pronouns to the opposite gender from one’s birth, the College Fix continued.

Despite potentially losing its accreditation, BYU is standing by its decision to discontinue speech-language services to transgender individuals, the outlet noted.

“Although the Department of Communication Disorders is no longer providing gender-affirming voice and communication services, it has made the three students impacted by this change aware of other providers,” BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins told The Salt Lake Tribune.

BYU also has religious exemptions under Title IX, which otherwise prohibits sex discrimination in education, according to LGBTQ Nation. (RELATED: Harvard Grad Goes Viral For Walking Out Of Merrick Garland Graduation Speech)

“ASHA recognizes gender affirming voice and communication services for transgender and gender diverse populations within the speech-language pathology scope of practice,” ASHA wrote in a statement in February regarding BYU’s decision. “Transgender individuals who attempt to modify their voice without a trained speech-language pathologist, risk permanent damage to their vocal cords; and without appropriate services are an increased risk for related mental health challenges.”