Plaintiffs in the federal title IX proceedings over the religious exemption policy have alleged that they have filed a formal Title IX complaint against relevant schools, including the University of Messiah, and the U.S. Department of Education has dismissed the complaint. I am asking the court to limit it. The proceedings have been settled.
The move, shown in a legal document filed on August 6, could force schools such as the Messiah to formally demand a religious exemption from sexist policies in response to complaints. ..
Cases, hunters, etc. al. v. The U.S. Department of Education is a class action by a student who has filed a claim of being damaged by an anti-LGBTQ policy at a religious college that is exempt from Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sexism in schools. With federal support. Its religious exemption allowed such schools to retain federal funding even if they were not fully compliant with Title IX due to religious doctrine.
The Religious Exemption Accountability Project, the civil rights organization leading the proceedings, filed last week, with 26 of the 35 plaintiffs’ recent complaints resolved through the ministry’s challenge to rule out the Donald Trump era. He said he thinks he can. Ministry of Education broadened the interpretation of the religious exemption clause of Title IX.
According to plaintiffs’ submissions, the University of Messiah officially exempts title IX, even though available Ministry of Education records are likely to require gay students to be exempt from Title IX. REAP claims to be one of several schools that have never requested it.
The Messiah is also one of the schools that does not indicate that it is “controlled by religious groups” in the exact sense of the Title IX language, REAP lawyers write. A controversy trying to intervene in the case.
Messiah spokesman Daniel Lan said that Messiah himself would not intervene in the case, given that the Ministry of Education was nominated as a defendant and not the individual school cited. He said he was working “in cooperation” with the CCCU on the issue.
“We hope that both the federal and state governments will respond to Hunter vs. the Ministry of Education to address the types of religious autonomy concerns currently raised by advocacy partners such as CCCU,” Lan said. Said in an email.
The rules promulgated by the Ministry of Education under Trump broaden the interpretation of religious group provisions and give considerable freedom to show that schools are governed by organizations with beliefs that are incompatible with Title IX. It stipulates that. Parallel rulemaking also extends religious protection to such schools, even if not formally required.
If the rule-making was revoked as REAP requires, the group would question the ability of some schools, including the Messiah, to obtain a Title IX exemption if the policy was challenged. thinking about. IX complaints, they have been.
Title IX is a federal civil rights image that prohibits “gender-based” discrimination by federal-funded educational institutions. The law includes exemptions for institutions that are “controlled by religious groups” and whose title IX “does not match the religious beliefs of such groups.”
REAP argues that some schools, such as the Messiah, cannot be fully proven to be the subject of a dominant religious group in the exact sense of the Title IX statutory language without the Trump-era rulemaking. increase.
The legal action set out in the filings last Friday adds a new dimension to the case where plaintiffs, represented by REAP lawyers, are trying to overturn Title IX’s religious exemption for constitutional reasons. To do.
The central argument of REAP in seeking a court ban on Title IX tax exemption is that they violate the constitutional ban on the establishment of religion. REAP argues that all exceptions to the federal regulations enjoyed by schools with certain religious beliefs, most of which have a conservative Christian outlook, are creating unconstitutional preferences. doing.
The fact that students in such schools do not enjoy the same protection as students in non-exempt schools under Title IX is a further breach under the Fifth Amendment, and exempt schools are still federal. The fact that it receives government financial support limits the state’s approval of freedom of speech, according to the group’s outline.
The proceedings are defended by the Ministry of Education, but the proceedings presuppose the testimony and evidence of 40 plaintiffs regarding the alleged damage suffered by the policies of 27 religious schools (one of which is the Messiah).
In the REAP summary, the plaintiffs in the proceedings, Messiah students, who are bisexual and currently heterosexual, are concerned about sexuality with other students on campus for fear of discriminatory treatment by Messiah. He states that he feels unable to discuss. There is a culture of students who report to each other about recognized religious or sexual violations.
According to plaintiffs, the Messiah “has a relatively progressive philosophy compared to other religious schools,” but this stops at the systematic double standard of schools for gay students.
The Messiah Student Handbook states, “Students who experience homosexual attraction or identify as LGBT + are embodied in cultural contextual practices and should refrain from” homosexual expression. ” Expected (for example, identifying as a couple or showing an expression of physical intimacy). “
However, according to the handbook, “it may be appropriate for a devoted male / female couple to hold hands and even kiss.” It should be understood within this framework, “and” the form of homosexual sexual expression is outside God’s design for sexual expression. “
CCCU is trying to intervene as a defendant in the proceedings, claiming that the Ministry of Education cannot fully defend Title IX’s religious exemption.
In June, the ministry submitted a brief document demonstrating its intention to defend the case and arguing against allegations of intervention by the CCCU and other religious colleges. The ministry said that interveners were “convincing” to show that federal defendants could not properly express their interests in pursuing the common purpose of supporting applied religious exemptions. I didn’t show it. “
The next day, after the Biden administration was subject to backlash by LGBTQ supporters, the ministry revised its response.
The revised outline states that “the purpose of the federal defendant is to uphold the constitutionality of the statutory exemption,” but the Ministry of Education said in the light of President Joe Biden’s executive order “regulations to implement Title IX.” We are conducting a comprehensive review of. ” Fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Nevertheless, “it would be premature to conclude that the government is an inadequate representative until the process is complete,” the ministry wrote.
These developments are not lost in CCCU. CCCU mentions in the response that submitted a reference to the removal of the “shared target” language and the currently applied title IX tax exemption advocacy.
Rather, the CCCU said, “In any case, given that Congressional intent applies only to defense against facial test against legislation, we are content with the department’s claim that it can uphold the legislative intent of the Title IX exemption. No. On the other hand, the plaintiff’s proceedings are a mixture of facial and remaining applied issues. “
The CCCU also argues that the Ministry of Education can grant religious exemptions to schools like the Messiah by simply applying the Title IX language, even if the Trump era rulemaking is abandoned. .. Guidance for 2020 has changed. The CCCU claims that the board of directors of such schools is effectively a qualified “religious organization.”
“Plaintiffs are not only revoking the November 2020 regulation, but are simply asking the court to incorporate requirements that are not there into the statutory document,” CCCU wrote.
The Biden administration does not specifically indicate its intention to withdraw the religious exemption standards of the Trump era. However, other Title IX policies promulgated by Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, especially those regarding the investigation of sexual assault, are already being rewritten by the current Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
REAP argues that Trump-era guidance is outside the scope of what the Ministry of Education is allowed to do unilaterally. This is to extend the definition of Title IX by creating a “catch-all” clause that Congress actually created. “” Other evidence “to prove that an educational institution is controlled by a religious group.”
The stakes in the case are ultimately financial. Religious schools face policy changes or defeats if the Title IX exemption is totally withdrawn, or if the court or the Biden administration overturns the Trump-era enforcement rules and interprets them in the manner suggested by REAP. It will be. Funds.
As such, the CCCU states that a wide range of government funding offers cannot be revoked simply for religion, and that the LGBTQ student policy in question is inseparable from that religion, or otherwise violates court precedents. Insist.ask [religious schools] To do the unthinkable: either demand that their students give up their permissible federal funding, or deny their belief in education and practice. “
Title IX complaints allegedly filed against schools, including the University of Messiah, as part of a religious exemption proceeding | Around the Web-Pennsylvania
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