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The U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into Brigham Young University and how it disciplines its LGBTQ students to determine whether the private religious school is violating their civil rights.
This type of federal scrutiny is surprising and rare, especially with church-owned schools like BYU — it typically happens only in places where there are believed to be potential systemic or serious issues.
“It’s really significant that investigators are stepping in now,” said Michael Austin, a BYU alumnus and vice president at the University of Evansville, a private Methodist school in Indiana. “It means there’s some reason to think the university has gone beyond the religious exemptions it has and is discriminating even beyond those.”
The investigation, headed by the Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education, will examine whether such actions by BYU are allowable because it is a private school or if they violate LGBTQ students’ rights, by disciplining them more harshly than heterosexual peers who don’t face the same consequences for similar romantic behaviors.
How long before the Utah Legislature audits the Univ of Utah in retaliation? Similar to how we joke about Northern Arizona getting NCAA penalties for U of pAy issues.
I’m only half joking, and half serious.
For the sake of the students at BYU, I hope this gets settled quickly and justly for all parties.
This is of some interest to me, because I had a roommate in the early '90s who had dropped out of BYU because of his sexuality. I hope he’s doing well. I haven’t seen him in years. He was one of the nicest people I ever knew. I remember the day he told me that he was gay. He was so scared I’d be mad or mean. I just told him that it didn’t matter to me, and that he was ok by me. Sadly, we lost touch after I moved away.
So, anyway, time for BYU to treat all of its students equally, regardless of sexuality, color of skin, what their ethnicity is.
There are a lot more people now unwilling to put up with the abuse they seem to feel their religion entitles them to. Even in a private school you arent allowed to have differential punishment, etc. If hand holding/public display of affection/etc is wrong for queer folks, it’s wrong FOR EVERYONE, etc. Their selective oppression via such bullspit against LGBTQ+ folks will now be exposed for the screaming hypocrisy it is.
and of course, it does fall under sexual discrimination, becuase they are targeting the people because of their physical sex (it;s basically saying that a man can kiss a woman, but a man cant kiss another man, thereby discriminating against both men).
Looking back, TCU and Baylor have had their own challenges made public regarding LGBTQQ treatment occurring on their campuses, and still do. Maybe they are just a little further into possible reforms (though I doubt it).
The reality is society as a whole has a long way to go on accepting diversity and inclusion. Some just have a lot longer road to travel.