A federal judge has ruled in favor of Christian colleges in a case brought by an LGBTQ group seeking to end the religious exemption to Title IX at federally-funded schools, colleges, and universities across the U.S.
Yesterday, the U.S. District court in Oregon dismissed our claims in Hunter et al.vs. U.S. Dept. of Education, et al. (🧵)
— Religious Exemption Accountability Project (@REAP_LGBTQ) January 13, 2023
The Religious Exemption Accountability Project (REAP) filed the lawsuit, hoping to halt the religious exemption the Christian colleges enjoyed under Title IX. If the group had been successful in its lawsuit, Christian schools would be forced to allow biological men who identify as women into women’s locker rooms.
“We filed the lawsuit because taxpayer-funded discrimination at religious colleges is widespread and causing harm to thousands of LGBTQ+ students,” an attorney for REAP, Paul Southwick, told The College Fix via email when asked about the timing of the lawsuit.
Judge Ann Aiken ruled on Jan. 12 that religious exemptions granted under Title IX allow Christian universities and colleges to ban students from being in same-gender relationships.
Aiken ruled that the government granting exemptions to Christian schools does not constitute a violation. Aiken also wrote in her judgment that REAP failed to submit any allegations of discriminatory motivation on the part of the plaintiffs.
Attorney David Cortman, who represented Alliance Defending Freedom — another plaintiff in the case — described the ruling as a rejection of a baseless assault on the religious freedom of faith-based schools.
Cortman added that Title IX explicitly protects the freedom of religious educational institutes to live by their “sincerely held convictions.”
“The court correctly concluded that Title IX’s religious liberty exemption doesn’t violate any of the plaintiffs’ claimed rights,” Cortman said in a news release.
Despite the defeat, REAP has vowed to continue its fight against religious institutions.