University probed over ‘anti-LGBTQ’ policies — Analysis

Federal authorities are investigating Brigham Young University, despite the fact that it claims its ban on homosex relationship is religiously exempted under civil rights laws.

US Department of Education has launched a civil-rights inquiry to find out if LGBTQ students are being discriminated at Brigham Young University, an institution of higher education located in Utah. It is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The probe, which reportedly got underway last October, deals with ‘Title IX’ protections against discrimination on the basis of sex. The department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) began investigating after receiving a complaint about the school prohibiting same-sex relationships despite striking a rule banning “homosexual behavior”From its 2020 written honor code

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the rule’s removal had prompted some students to publicly declare their sexual orientation, but BYU then clarified that LGBTQ relationships were still banned – warning that those who held hands with or kissed members of the same sex would be disciplined.

According to the Tribune, federal investigators were called in after students protested that they had been tricked into coming forward. Although such formal scrutiny of the matter is not common, the Tribune noted that BYU was granted certain exemptions by Title IX because it is a private religious school. The OCR could believe that there is. “potential systemic or serious issues”At the university.

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BYU President Kevin Worthen wrote to the department November to confirm that school was protected under the exemptions. He also stated that employees and students had signed up to adhere to the honor code. “voluntarily commit to conduct their lives in accordance with the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Catherine Lhamon, OCR Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, responded to this question earlier in the month by acknowledging that some exemptions have been granted for the school regarding religious doctrines of the Mormon Church regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. She added, however that her department is “obligated to determine”If the complaint received is covered by these exceptions.

Tribune reports that the new inquiry concerns the permissibility of faith-based discipline for LGBTQ students, provided the punishment isn’t related to education and not explicitly forbidden in the written honor code.

Carri Jenkins from BYU stated that she was proud to be a spokesperson for the university. “does not anticipate any further action by OCR on this complaint.”

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