LGBT group urges Biden to strip accreditation of Christian schools with biblical beliefs
One of the leading national LGBT activist organizations is urging presumptive President-elect Joe Biden and his administration to advance policies that would strip Christian colleges that uphold rules and stances that oppose homosexuality of their accreditation.
The request was part of the Human Rights Campaign’s "Blueprint for Positive Change," a recent document which offers 85 policy and legislative recommendations for a potential Biden administration. The document comes as Biden pledged throughout his 2020 campaign to advance “LGBT equality” in the U.S. and around the world.
One of the recommendations proposes the elimination of nondiscrimination exemptions for religious colleges if the institutions support biblical definitions of marriage or fail to offer "scientific curriculum requirements."
According to Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, losing accreditation would devastate Christian schools.
He argued that a policy like the one HRC is advocating for could force religious institutions “into capitulation.”
In a blog post, Mohler argued that colleges need accreditation from government-approved agencies to show they can give students a useful education. If a school isn’t accredited, other schools often won’t accept transfer credits and employers won’t hire its graduates.
"If the Human Rights Campaign achieves its policy goals, religious institutions will either be coerced into capitulation over fundamental religious and theological doctrines, or they will be marginalized,” he wrote. “This kind of policy goes even further than, for example, attempts to strip federal funding and student aid from institutions that will not surrender to the LGBTQ movement.”
HRC’s reference to science-based curriculum refers to research claims about sexuality, Mohler contends.
"In terms of accreditation, that is an atomic bomb," Mohler said. "The Human Rights Campaign is targeting issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, cloaking them in the language of 'science.'"
In the document's introduction, the Human Rights Campaign said Trump misinterpreted the law to favor Christians.
“The [Trump] administration consistently mischaracterizes the law in federal regulations, legal memorandums, and litigation actions,” the document reads. “These coordinated attacks on civil rights exploit the public’s traditionally limited engagement with federal legal actions and administrative developments, violating the public trust.”
“The Biden administration must unravel these harmful regulations across Departments, reinstitute the strong protections championed by President Obama, and put the U.S. back on the path toward equality for all LGBTQ people,” HRC continued.
The document’s list also includes making refusal to hire people because of their LGBT identity illegal, adding a nonbinary option to passports, allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military and forcing faith-based charities to hire LGBT individuals even when it violates their conscience.
“The Department of Education should issue a regulation clarifying that this provision, which requires accreditation agencies to ‘respect the stated mission’ of religious institutions, does not require the accreditation of religious institutions that do not meet neutral accreditation standards including nondiscrimination policies and scientific curriculum requirements,” the guidance document adds.
If implemented, HRC’s policy proposal would tie accreditation to support for homosexuality and push Christian schools to the margin, Mohler believes.
"This [request] comes with chilling specificity and clarity. We dare not miss what is at stake," Mohler, who also hosts a podcast, said.
The document also advises that religious schools which request an exemption from nondiscrimination requirements notify the public that they have requested a Title IX exemption. To exercise their religious freedom, schools should have to go through a special process that would mark them as different from other schools, the document suggests.
“Students should have the ability to know which schools have claimed a right to discriminate against them in advance of applying for admission,” the activist group asserts.
HRC argues that schools should also be unable to refer people struggling with their sexual identity to counselors that will help them find peace with their own biology. Additionally, HRC wants the Biden administration to interpret that doing so violates Title IX sex discrimination rules.
“Joe Biden has an incredible opportunity to advance policies to improve the lives of LGBTQ Americans through the public health lens required by the pandemic,” the "blueprint" document reads.
The Christian Post reached out to the Human Rights Campaign and the Democratic Party for comment. Responses were not received by press time.
"This is an outright attempt to eliminate religious freedom for Christian schools — or for any religious school that refuses to bow to the moral revolutionaries at the Human Rights Campaign," Mohler maintained.