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The Column earned a top prize in the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s Excellence in Journalism Awards, the organization announced on Wednesday. The Column placed first in the News Writing category for the article titled, “Dozens of Christian schools win Title IX waivers to ban LGBT students.”

That investigative piece told the story of more than 30 colleges and universities who were receiving federal funding while also denying access to LGBTQ students. Using a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Department of Education, The Column gained access to hundred of pages of waiver to Title IX by these schools. In those waivers, the schools asked the federal government for permission to discriminate against LGBTQ students.

That report prompted protests at schools across the country, and inspired Sen. Al Franken to successfully push the Department of Education to publish the names of schools asking the federal government for permission to discriminate.

Coming in second in the News Writing category this year was CNN’s Daniel Burke for “Exclusive: Pope Held Private Meeting with Same-Sex Couple in U.S.”

The Column finished third in the same category in 2015 for its series on the surreptitious efforts of anti-LGBTQ evangelical group, Trinity Works, to infiltrate Twin Cities Pride events.

The full list of awardees can be viewed at NLGJA.org.

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