Campus Pride, an organization aimed at LGBT college students, has published a Shame List of colleges that it deems unfriendly to LGBT students. It’s based on colleges’ requests for exemption from the federal Title IX law that prohibits discrimination based on sex.
A waiver allows colleges to discriminate without jeopardizing federal benefits. The list has grown on account of an interest on the part of religious schools in protecting ability to discriminate on LGBT grounds. But the waiver also allows discrimination against women who’ve had abortions and single mothers at some schools.
The list includes:
* HARDING UNIVERSITY: The Searcy school applied for a Title IX waiver in May citing its affiliation with the Church of Christ and the church’s belief that all sexual relations outside a heterosexual marriage are a sin. The application said the school believes that gender identity is “given by God and is revealed in one’s birth sex.” The application said the school had long claimed religious exemptions, but was making a request for a waiver on account of recent Obama administration statements about enforcement of Title IX in support of LGBT students. It wants exemptions in virtually all areas of operation, from student admission to employment.
* WILLIAMS BAPTIST COLLEGE: The Walnut Ridge school received the waiver in 2014 and we’ve discussed previously their reasons for seeking the religion-based exemption. It received a Title IX waiver “to the extent that they prohibit discrimination on the basis of marital status, sex outside of marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity,pregnancy, or abortion and compliance would conflict with the controlling organization’s religious tenets.”
Campus Pride also offers an online search of LGBT-friendly campuses. Its search engine turns up no listing in Arkansas among the 200-plus schools it grants that evaluation.