School adding transgender policy
A private Christian university is working to create a policy regarding transgender individuals as a sister school faces a lawsuit for dismissing a student.
By Bob Allen
A Califorinia Christian college is updating its sexuality policies to include issues of gender identity as a sister school in the state faces a discrimination lawsuit.
Biola University's work on a policy regarding transgender individuals coinciides with former CBU student Domaine Javier's filing a lawsuit Feb. 25 for discriminatory expulsion from the Riverside, Calif., school affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention.
Cal Baptist expelled Javier in 2011 after she revealed on an MTV reality show that she is biologically male. The university charged Javier with deception for checking âfemaleâ on her online application form.
California Baptist Universityâs student code of conduct includes ârefraining from sexual conduct outside of marriage, as defined in the Baptist Faith and Message, June 2000, Article XVIII.â
That statement says: âMarriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.â
âThere is nothing in Cal Baptistâs policies addressing gender identity issues or transgender people,â Javierâs attorney, Paul Southwick, told the Biola University campus newspaper. âThe only thing that is discussed is homosexuality.â
Cal Baptist also forbids âcommitting or attempting to engage in fraud, concealing identity, or using or attempting to use a false identityâ and âknowingly furnishing false informationâ to a university official.
But since Javier views herself as a female and checked that as her gender on the application, Southwick says his client should be treated like any other student.
Biola, founded in 1908 as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, has admissions policies stricter than CBU, requiring that all students be professing Christians.
A Biola University statement on human sexuality adopted in May 2012 rejects âany act of sexual intimacy between two persons of the same sexâ and describes how to deal with individuals who âstruggle with same-sex behavior, same-sex attraction and/or sexual orientation issuesâ but says nothing about gender identity.
Biola officials hope to have a new gender identity statement in place by fall.
© 2014 Associated Baptist Press, Inc.