Calif. Bill Requires Religious Colleges to Disclose Exemption from Transgender Law

The bill seeks to publicly expose schools that the government considers to be discriminatory.
Published: September 9, 2016

A California bill approved by lawmakers would require private religious universities to disclose if they have been granted a Title IX exemption.

If Senate Bill 1146 were signed into law, it would force universities to inform the California Student Aid Commission, students and staff members if they are exempt from Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination based on gender (including gender identity).

“Many students or employees are not aware of a particular school’s policies until they are already enrolled or on the payroll,” Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur says. “SB 1146 would expose anti-LGBT discrimination for all to see and would allow potential students or employees to protect themselves.”

RELATED: Federal Government Stopped from Enforcing Transgender Bathroom Policy

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Campus Safety has reported on the federal government’s interpretation of Title IX, which specifies that schools forbidding students and staff from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity are discriminatory and in violation of the law. That interpretation was announced May 13 in a Dear Colleague letter that has been challenged in court.

The federal government can grant exemptions to that law if a school can prove that following it would violate its religious beliefs. There are only 43 such exemptions that have been granted in the country, reports

School bathroom policies that don’t adhere to gender identity mainly discriminate against transgender people, whose gender identity may not match their biological sex.

SB 1146 was authored by openly gay democratic Senator Ricardo Lara, who says the bill would “shed light on the appalling discriminatory practices LGBTQ students face at private religious universities in California.”

The bill now goes to Governor Jerry Brown to determine whether or not it should be signed into law.

Read Next: Judge Blocks N.C. Transgender Bathroom Law in UNC Case

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