Dozens of LGBTQ students in the US have filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Education, claiming that several Christian schools throughout the country have subjected them to discrimination.
The legal complaint, which was filed by a coalition of 33 current and former LGBTQ students, is asking the court to declare the religious exemption clause in Title IX unconstitutional.
Passed in 1972, Title IX prohibits schools from discriminating on the basis of sex or gender. However, religious educational institutions are allowed to circumvent the law if it goes against their religion.
“Religious exemptions to civil rights statutes come at a price,” the coalition stated on its website. “The price is paid by the young and vulnerable who find themselves at the mercy of religiously affiliated, taxpayer-funded social service and educational institutions that often turn them away or force them into the closet.”
Complainant Details Discrimination
Elizabeth Hunter, a graduate of Bob Jones University in South Carolina, is one of the 33 students to file a lawsuit against the Department of Education.
She described how, in 2018, university administration interrogated her for several hours over a Twitter post in which she wrote, “Happy Pride!”
Hunter also said that her posts about lesbian characters were investigated, and she was put on disciplinary probation for supporting the LGBTQ community.
“I just didn’t think about my Twitter being a problem, because I never tagged Bob Jones. I never did anything to bring attention to disagreeing with the school’s stance on homosexuality,” she explained in the lawsuit.
Education Dept Responds
Amid being sued for alleged discriminatory acts at Christian schools, the Department reiterated President Joe Biden’s order guaranteeing an educational environment free from gender discrimination.
A spokesperson told Forbes that the current administration “is fully committed to equal educational access for all students.”