Christian university wins rights to ban gay or pregnant students, unwed mothers, and those who had abortions
A lot of schools and universities in America are now struggling to uphold gender neutrality and accommodate students coming from the LGBT community, but a private Southern Baptist college in Tennessee is not one of them.
The Carson-Newman University is now legally permitted to ban students whose "lifestyles" go against the university's Christian beliefs. "This is who we are as a Christian university," Dr. Randall O'Brien, president of the university, told CBS affiliate WVLT on Monday.
"These are our religious principles. And in a changing world, we would like to reaffirm that this is who we are and who we intend to be."
Upon consultation with a team of legal experts, O'Brien filed the waiver that would remove the protection students have under Title IX, which states that: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
In filing the waiver, O'Brien said they were able to "strengthen our First Amendment rights."
"I understood our legal council said it would further make us a Christian school," he added.
The new rights give the school the right to ban not just gay students but also unwed mothers, women who had abortions, as well as pregnant students.
When asked about the school's new policy, students said they understood why the university asked for an exemption to Title IX. Sophomore Lauren Graves said, "I don't think Carson-Newman would outright discriminate, but I can see why. This is a Christian university and we need to protect our Christian values as well," she said.