Franken to Dept. of Ed: Publish names of schools that ask to discriminate

by December 21, 2015 4 comments

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Sen. Al Franken is among eight Democratic Senators asking the Department of Education to make public the names of schools that ask for an exemption to Title IX in order to discriminate against LGBT students and staff.

In a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Sens. Ron Wyden, Tammy Baldwin, Barbara Boxer, Al Franken, Edward Markey, Jeff Merkley, Patty Murray, and Bernie Sanders praised the department for expanding Title IX to include gender identity. But, the letter also noted that dozens of schools were asking the department for waivers to Title IX so they could explicitly discriminate against LGBT students and staff while also taking in federal aid and grants. The letter states:

When Title IX was passed in 1972 to combat discrimination on the basis of sex, Congress included a provision allowing educational institutions that are controlled by a religious organization to receive a waiver under Title IX if compliance “would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.” Exemption requests used to be rare, but according to a recent investigation by The Column, the Department of Education has granted waivers to 27 religious institutions in the last 18 months alone. Recently, there have been a number of conferences, webinars, trainings and discussions relating to how Christian colleges and universities can demonstrate their “sincerely held religious beliefs” and seek these waivers.’

The Column reported on Dec. 1 that dozens of Christian schools had requested the waivers to Title IX. The Senators asked that the names of the school that are granted such waivers be made public.

“At a very minimum, we believe that parents, students, and taxpayers have a right to know when institutions of higher education — as recipients of tax dollars — seek and receive exemptions under Title IX as well as the justification of those exemptions,” the letter states.

Here’s the full letter:

Download (PDF, 478KB)

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4 Comments so far

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  1. chloealexa8888
    #1 chloealexa8888 21 December, 2015, 09:52

    Mr. Franken There is a part of the Constitution of these United States that calls for SEPARATION of CHURCH and STATE.
    Since when does the US Government give waivers to Bigots for outright discrimination of CIVIL RIGHTS?!?!

    Where is your respect for the Constitution?? These religious schools are using false information on Transgender people based on information given and published by the Catholic Church. If they can prove their necessity that would be one thing, yet based on mis-information it does not match the medical communities knowledge of Trans information in many countries of today. We now have proof of a physical change in our Brains closer to the Gender we present and not the one Assigned at birth. It is a common Birth Anomaly that happens in five hundred to a thousand births. So why are we tortured by religions Ignorance of our situation, as they do not even live or practice their namesake Christ’s teachings or way of life. I as a Citizen want that separation honoured and respected for it’s being there, and functional for over 200 years, and not paid, even Lip Service as it is today. These protected schools should not receive dollar one, of US Government monies for their Waiver of our Civil Rights.
    ChloeAlexa a Minnesota voter and Trans advocate.

  2. david
    #2 david 21 December, 2015, 10:09

    In a previous article you wrote:

    “These “right-to-discriminate” waivers were relatively rare until the last year. A handful were requested in the 1980s and 1990s, many by religious schools who wanted to ensure they could prevent women from being hired in leadership roles without running afoul of discrimination laws.”

    Do have any examples of these requests from the 1980’s and 1990’s? I would be very curious to see how these cases differ from the current ones?

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