Lawmakers in California are trying to pass a bill that would make it illegal for religious colleges to discriminate against LGBT students.
In a column for GetReligion. Org, Julia Duin writes that, despite the potential far-reaching impact of the bill, main media sources in California aren’t covering it.
The Sacramento Bee did mention the bill, but failed to tell the whole story, according to Duin.
“The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would make it more difficult for universities to get religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT individuals,” the Bee reports.
“The bill would affect more than 30 higher education institutions in California that currently have religious exemptions to federal or state anti-discrimination laws. It also requires universities receiving religious exemptions to disclose them. Currently, state exemptions are only available through a Freedom of Information Act request,” it continues.
Duin says the Bee fails to note that LGBT students who attend these religious universities choose to do so, and most of them probably had to sign a statement affirming the school’s policies.
So, despite the statement by the bill’s author, Ricardo Lara, that “These universities have a license to discriminate, and students have absolutely no recourse,” students are in no way coerced into attending a religious college.
Duin also brings up the point of religious colleges that are not Christian, such as Jewish or Muslim colleges in the state.
These colleges would also be affected by the new law.
“As many as 42 faith-based institutions of higher education in California could be impacted,” according to a statement from Biola, a Christian college outside of L.A.
In its statement, Biola also noted specific ways that the bill would change religious higher education in the state:
“Faith-based institutions in California would no longer be able to require a profession of faith of their students. These institutions would no longer be able to integrate faith throughout the teaching curriculum. These institutions would no longer be able to require chapel attendance for students, an integral part of the learning experience at faith-based universities.”
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Publication date: June 17, 2016