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In the final word today on a ongoing case, a transgendered male student applying for on-campus housing at (religiously affiliated) George Fox University near Portland, Oregon will be denied the right to room with his male peers this fall. Context important to this discussion is that this college requires students to live on campus for at least the first 1-2 years of their undergraduate experience.

Excerpts from the story (and my incensed musings) below the fold:

Although Jayce has finished his transition process and is, in the eyes of the U.S. government -- on his birth certificate, driver’s license and Social Security card – a male, George Fox lobbied to obtain a religious exemption allowing the Christian college to deny Jayce’s housing request. the eyes of the U.S. government this student is a male, yet the Dept of Ed has the right to tell the university that they aren't required to treat him as any other male? Why, exactly?
George Fox spokesman Rob Felton confirmed the university was granted that religious exemption by the U.S. Department of Education on May 23. A complaint against the exemption was denied.

"The university sought this exemption to preserve its right to draw on its religious convictions to handle situations related to students experiencing gender identity issues...." George Fox said in a statement Friday.

Students experiencing gender identity issues? Really? The entity making an issue out of the student's gender identity is the university YOU represent.
Felton said George Fox has offered Jayce the option to live on campus in a single apartment.
Oh yes, that's right, let's try to shut the poor kid up by offering him an additional 50 square feet of living space and the luxury of no roommate. What if he wanted roommates? Some people do.
Jayce says he will fight the university’s ruling.

“I’m not giving up. I deserve to be treated like the other men on campus,” he said.

I'm proud of you, Jayce. Screw the bigoted jerkwads at both George Fox Univ. and the U.S. Dept of Ed. Congratulations on your transition, and go kick some discriminatory ass. I'll be rooting for you.

Full story Here.

And another commentary piece about the situation at ThinkProgress:

Originally posted to nerafinator on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by TransAction.


Does George Fox Univ., a private religiously-affiliated institution, have the right to deny this transgender male student housing with other males?

60%38 votes
6%4 votes
9%6 votes
4%3 votes
19%12 votes

| 63 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    We are all students and teachers. I often ask myself: "What did I come here to learn, and what did I come to teach?"

    by nerafinator on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 10:08:50 PM PDT

  •  The flood gates are now open (20+ / 0-)

    It is just a matter of time before some institution will claim a religious exemption for every kind of bigotry.

    •  I actually had a nightmarish thought (9+ / 0-)

      that Warren Jeffs and the offshoot of the Mormons he was the "prophet" for and reportedly still is even after his conviction will use the sincerely held religious beliefs to get back to business as usual with marrying underage girls to dirty old men and claim a religious exemption from the laws about pedophilia.

      Even with this Jeffs may stay in jail (he also raped his nephews) but arguing religious exemption from law could free up the other perverts to continue marrying children.

      Another group that could try and use a religious exemption are our friendly neighborhood "sidewalk counselors" yearning to get out the bombs and guns  and kill in the name of religion.

      Even if they didn't apply for the exemption and get it , thinking that they could get it could encourage and embolden their evil and criminal behavior.

      This one thought makes me want someone to tell me I'm paranoid and delusional like my grandmother and mother.

  •  I voted "unsure," . . . (4+ / 0-)

    . . . as I do not know anything about this particular institution, and whether it receives any sort of aid or grants from the Federal government.

    It would seem to me that if the institution is entirely private and religious in nature, then whatever odious sorts of rules they wish to impose are protected.

    That would not be the case with a corporation (such as Hobby Lobby) that uses the public commons (streets, police, sewage, fire, &c) to support their for-profit business.

    On the other hand, if this university collects one dime of government money then it should conform to the law.

    That said, there is no protection in Federal law for those who identify as gay or transgendered: a position that ought be overturned.

    "A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!'"—William F. Buckley, Jr.—Founder of the conservative policy magazine "National Review"

    by Village Vet on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 12:25:53 AM PDT

    •  Whether or not it gets federal money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Nucleo, VeggiElaine

      Is not relevant to the fact that they are abusing the law in order to practice discrimination. It is a business that provides a service for a fee and they have just effectively denied this student those services based on gender identity, which is not legal in Oregon.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 05:04:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The key part of your comment is "...there is no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      protection in federal law..." The University isn't breaking the law.
         There is some thinking that the Title IX ban on sex discrimination applies to gender identity issues, but that isn't settled.

    •  Portland has some protections (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for housing in the city code, though these jokers seem likely  to be exempt.  At this stage, state and local law are the only real levers available.

      Private universities are some of the last great bastions of public bigotry against the queer.  Lots of them get federal money for various things (starting with student aid) and they are entirely allowed under law to educate only those pledged to their (often terrifyingly narrow) vision of the godly life.   Sometimes, like Liberty University, they are national jokes, and sometimes -- as with SPU here in Seattle -- they are really good schools with formal, bigoted, and enforced policy.  

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 06:41:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Geo Fox U is an extreme outlier. It is technically (5+ / 0-)

    affiliated with Quakerism, but it's actual orientation is evangelical, the antithesis of Quaker principles.

    The other Quaker colleges, Earlham,(Richmond, Ind) Guilford (North Carolina) and Whittier (California), actually follow the tenets and would be doing the exact opposite from what GFU is doing. All of the traditionally Quaker schools have historically been on the forefront of LGBT rights.

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
    ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

    by FarWestGirl on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 03:51:25 AM PDT

  •  This is the problem with "religious" exemptions (5+ / 0-)

    I've been Atheist for a long time yet I grew up Catholic and I don't remember the first word in any part of the bible about being transgendered, so claiming a religious exemption from having to treat people as their expressed gender as recognized and acknowledged by the law is utter bullshit. Whether privately or publicly funded, schools are like any other organization that provides a service for a fee and I don't understand why they get these kind of exemptions. People use them to express and confirm their bigotry, plain and simple. Disallowing this young man to attend school, (as attending requires him to live on campus), is nothing but gender discrimination and hiding behind a fictional deity doesn't change that. Thanks for covering this.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 05:01:12 AM PDT

    •  The whole point of the Free Exercise clause (0+ / 0-)

      was to protect religious views that other people find unacceptable.  That was the point of putting that in the constitution.  (Views that the majority agrees with don't need constitutional protection.

      So, yes, it does matter that it's a religious view.  And the fact that you -- or a lot of other people -- don't believe in their views, or find their views bigoted, or find a belief in any god to be absurd doesn't matter constitutionally.  Their views are just as constitutionally protected as every other religious view.

      That's why it really matters that this is a private religious university.  If it were a public university, being run by the government, that would be entirely different.  Government can discriminate.  On the other hand, unless there's a specific law prohibiting it, private citizens CAN discriminate.  And if that discrimination is based on a religious view, it enjoys constitutional protection.  

  •  Matthew 19:12 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeggiElaine, Rogneid
    For there are some eunuchs, who were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, who were made eunuchs of men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
    Seems to me we may have biblical text arguing for transgender equality, eh, what with the 'from their mother's womb'?

    “He said it was better to belong where you don't belong than not to belong where you used to belong, remembering when you used to belong there.” ― Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men

    by LoreleiHI on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 06:33:13 AM PDT

  •  Once freedom of religion was expanded to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Rogneid, KathleenM1

    allow practices that conflict with the rights of others, the floodgates opened. There is no closing that door People simply must stop patronizing places like that and we need to really do a better job of teaching empiricism, logic and reasoning skills to our young.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 08:01:42 AM PDT

    •  I'm not seeing that the position of George Fox U. (0+ / 0-)

      a "...practice that conflicts with the rights of others..."
         They have a housing policy that the transgendered youth doesn't agree with. They've made an offer to accommodate him in his own apartment. In terms of rights, no student even has the right to attend the university. So, having been admitted to the university, does the student have a right to the housing of his choice?
         I don't know the rationale for the university's decision but I don't see how it violates anyone's rights.

      •  Gender based discriminatin is usually (0+ / 0-)

        held to be a civil rights issue, especially since the passage of title ix, but you are right, nobody in this country has the right not to be discriminated against based on their race, color, creed, gender, disability of anything else provided for by the laws and Constitutin  becuase Jeeeebus.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 04:12:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It may very well have the right (0+ / 0-)

    George Fox University is a religious institution.  Transmitting certain religious values is a big part of what it does.

    People here sometimes forget that religious views that they find offensive nonetheless are constitutionally protected.  Government cannot decide, "we're going to force you to violate your religious views because we believe your religious views are unacceptable."  That's the whole point of the Free Exercise Clause.  

    None of us has the right to go to a religious institution and expect them to violate their religious views because we want them to -- no matter how horrible we think those religious views are.

    Sometimes people here forget that the Free Exercise of religious views that people here disagree with nonetheless are constitutionally protected.  

    Of course, if this were a public university, that would be an entirely different story.  

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