LGBT 'Shame List' of Christian Colleges Includes Azusa Pacific, Biola, Liberty, Wheaton
Christian colleges were recently given the label of "absolute worst" for LGBT students due to, among other things, requesting a religious exemption to the Obama administration's current interpretation of Title IX regulations.
Campus Pride's "shame list" has 102 Christian colleges and universities at the time of this publication.
There is not a lesser "worst" category. Rather, all colleges that fail Campus Pride's standards are labeled "absolute worst."
Shane Windmeyer, spokesperson for Campus Pride, told The Christian Post via email that for a college to get on the "shame list" and specifically the "absolute worst" category an institution must have "received and/or applied for a Title IX exemption to discriminate against LGBTQ youth" and/or "demonstrated past history and track record of anti-LGBTQ actions, programs and practices."
"The listing will be updated annually. This is the first-time Campus Pride has released a listing of the worst anti-LGBTQ campuses across the country. New campuses may appear in future and campuses may be removed in future as well," added Windmeyer.
Other noteworthy entrants on the "absolute worst" category included Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, Bob Jones University, East Texas Baptist University, Gordon College, Liberty University, Union University, and Wheaton College.
Not all colleges made the list by requesting a religious exemption. Wheaton, for instance, is on the list for inviting an ex-lesbian, Rosaria Butterfield, to speak to its students.
Windmeyer of Campus Pride told CP that it was not an issue of considering homosexuality a sin, adding that "think about all the religious campuses who do not appear on the list."
"Notre Dame is one that is not on the list that recognizes its LGBT group and labels homosexuality as a sin. There are numerous other religious campuses not on the list," said Windmeyer.
"However, if a campus like Lancaster Bible College chooses to 'legally' request the right to discriminate against LGBTQ youth and use religion-based bigotry to harm or perpetuate harm toward LGBT youth, then they will be on the Shame List for these 'shameful acts.'" (Scare quotes in original.)
Passed in 1972, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex for any educational institute that receives financial assistance from the federal government.
Under the Obama Administration, sex-based discrimination has been interpreted by the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights as including gender identity.
Lancaster Bible College was granted an earlier exemption to Title IX back in 1992. In June 2015 the College requested an extension to their exemption in light of the more recent interpretations of Title IX.
"We are seeking the extension of LBC's 1992 exemption granted by the United States Department of Education to the extent that recent revisions to Title IX are interpreted to curtail the College's freedom to respond to gender dysphoria and homosexual behavior in accordance with its religious convictions," explained LBC President Peter Teague in an earlier interview with CP.
"Our request has been pending since June 2015 with no communication received from USDE or the Office of Civil Rights."
In an interview with CP on Thursday, Teague provided an update on the request, noting that the OCR had finally communicated with LBC about their request.
"They indicated they have an 18-month backlog and requests for Title IX exemption are being handled in the order in which they were received, we can expect a response sometime in October," said Teague.
Regarding the allegations of being a horrible campus for LGBT students, Teague told CP that LBC has a "Christ-centered mission," which means in part that "we can love people where they are without endorsing behavior."
"Differences on such issues are nothing new and have existed for millennia. History and the Scriptures teach us we will have perspectives differing from others," continued Teague.
"We will disagree, yet the Bible also tells us how, as Christ-followers, we are to disagree with others, in the fullness of grace and truth."