California Senate bill says religion no excuse for LGBT discrimination

Lara religion

The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would make it more difficult for universities to get religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT individuals.

The bill would affect more than 30 higher education institutions in California that currently have religious exemptions to federal or state anti-discrimination laws.

On a federal level, Title IX currently prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational programs or athletics. Universities can obtain a religious exemption for institutions controlled by religious organizations. At least six universities in California have applied for or received religious Title IX exemptions, including Biola University, Fresno Pacific University, Simpson University, William Jessup University, John Paul the Great Catholic University and LABI College.

The key state-level discrimination law, the Equity in Higher Education Act, has more stringent regulations that prevent schools from discriminating on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

The Senate bill would allow schools to keep religious curriculum and chapel requirements for students. Failure to comply with the bill’s requirements wouldn’t affect Cal Grant money, but would open up an avenue for students and staff to take legal action.

Via the Sacramento Bee