Showing posts with label Homophobia in Schools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homophobia in Schools. Show all posts

December 4, 2019

Teacher at Utah Public School Told The 11Yr Son of Gay Parents it Was Sinful, Gay is Wrong


When one of the students answered that he was “thankful for finally being adopted by my two dads,” the teacher retorted that “homosexuality is wrong,” one of the boy’s parents said in a video that has gotten widespread attention on social media. The teacher then told the student that it was sinful for two men to live together, the father said.
The substitute teacher was fired soon after, according to the staffing company that had placed the woman at the school, Deerfield Elementary in Cedar Hills, Utah.
Image result for substitute teacher at a Utah public school
 Van Amstel, an Amsterdam-born choreographer, former dance champion
                                       





 
 

A substitute teacher at a Utah public school asked students in a fifth-grade class what they were thankful for before they left for Thanksgiving break.

When one of the students answered that he was “thankful for finally being adopted by my two dads,” the teacher retorted that “homosexuality is wrong,” one of the boy’s parents said in a video that has gotten widespread attention on social media. The teacher then told the student that it was sinful for two men to live together, the father said. 

The substitute teacher has fired soon after, according to the staffing company that had placed the woman at the school, Deerfield Elementary in Cedar Hills, Utah. 

The father, Louis van Amstel, who is known for his role on “Dancing With the Stars,” wrote on Twitter and Facebook that his son, Daniel, 11, had been bullied by the teacher.

“It shouldn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bisexual, black and white,” van Amstel said in an interview Sunday. “If you’re adopting a child and if that child goes to a public school, that teacher should not share her opinion about what she thinks we do in our private life.”

Van Amstel, 47, credited three girls in the class with alerting the principal about the teacher’s actions and with speaking up on behalf of his son, who he said did not want the teacher to get in trouble.

“The woman, even when the principal said, ‘Well, you’re fired,’ and escorted her out the door, tried to blame Daniel for what she said,’” van Amstel said.

The episode happened Nov. 21 in the Alpine School District, which is one of the largest in Utah and serves about 80,000 students in several communities south of Salt Lake City.

The district’s spokesman, David Stephenson, said in an email that “the school took appropriate action that day based upon their investigation,” but referred questions on the substitute teacher to Kelly Services, the staffing company used by the district. The district did not identify the teacher. 

Kelly Services said in a statement Sunday that the substitute teacher was no longer employed by the company.

“We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate conduct and take these matters very seriously,” the statement said. “We conducted an investigation and made the decision to end the employee’s relationship with Kelly Services.”

The company did not respond to questions about how long the substitute teacher had been placed in the school district or the vetting process it used for school instructors.

Van Amstel said he was proud of how swiftly and decisively the school had handled the situation but was troubled about the vetting of the teacher and about how she had tried to impose her personal beliefs on a group of children.

Van Amstel, an Amsterdam-born choreographer, former dance champion and creator of the dance fitness program LaBlast, said his neighbors in Utah had rallied around his family. He said some online commenters had jumped to unfair conclusions about what he described as a politically and socially conservative state.

Image result for substitute teacher at a Utah public school
 Gay dads
              

“It doesn’t mean that all of Utah is now bad,” he said. “This is one person.”

The episode came just a few weeks after the Trump administration proposed a rule change that would roll back Obama-era discrimination protections that were based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families have said that the reversal could allow foster care and adoption agencies to deny their services to LGBTQ families on faith-based grounds.

In 2017, van Amstel wed Joshua Lancaster at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah, posting a photo of their marriage license on Instagram. He said his spouse took his surname so they and their children would have the same one. 

The couple started the adoption process in 2018 and met Daniel for the first time in March after seeing his photograph online, van Amstel said. Daniel’s placement with his would-be parents came on Father’s Day, according to van Amstel, who said the adoption would become final this month.

“This boy since we met him feels like our son,” van Amstel said. “Right now, it feels like I made him.”



August 27, 2019

Eight Grader In Indiana Beat at Locker room Because of Him Being Gay




Image result for gay boy attacked at locker room


An eighth-grader in Indiana says he was violently beaten by a classmate because he's gay.

"I was in the locker room after the third-period gym," the victim, a student at Alexandria-Monroe High School, told WISH Channel 8. "And the guy who attacked me was standing at my locker, being creepy. He asked, 'What are you doing?' I was like, 'I'm changing.'"

The eighth-grader, who requested anonymity identified his attacker as a 10th-grader. He said the two had gym together but were not friends and rarely interacted. 

"[He] started shoving me with his shoulder," the victim told WISH. "He hit me two times in the head and then hit my face against the mirror. And then [he hit me] a couple more times to my face—and then someone pulled him off." 

He believes the older student attacked him "because of my sexuality."

Two students recorded footage of the assault, authorities confirmed. The fact that they had their phones at the ready, says the victim, suggests it was a planned attacked.

On Friday Alexandria police confirmed they were investigating the incident but "[had] not uncovered any evidence" the victim's sexual orientation played a part, according to the network. "They're trying to say it's not a hate crime," the victim's mother told WISH. "Well, what else do you call it?"

She was on school grounds for a parent-teacher conference when the attack happened, was sent a clip of the assault by a friend.

"I thought I was going to throw up," she said. "In the video, you see my son is backed up against the wall, kind of like a corner of the concrete wall by the mirror. This kid's in front of him and there are kids on either side, blocking his escape. [The 10th-grader] just squats down and starts wailing on his face and head."

The video reportedly shows the student punching her son four times. "It all happened so fast," said the eighth-grader. "The whole thing lasted under a minute."

He reportedly suffered a broken nose, bruised eye, and scratches behind his ear. "I don't really feel anything yet," he said. "I'm kind of numb."

In a statement, Alexandria Community Schools superintendent Melissa Brisco said the district "was deeply troubled by Tuesday's assault."

"We want to assure our families and community that we will continue to work hard to provide a safe, caring and supportive learning environment for all our students," she added. As of Friday night, no charges had been filed. 


 An eighth grader in Indiana says he was violently beaten by a classmate because he's gay.

"I was in the locker room after third period gym," the victim, a student at Alexandria-Monroe High School, told WISH Channel 8. "And the guy who attacked me was standing at my locker, being creepy. He asked, 'What are you doing?' I was like, 'I'm changing.'"

The eighth grader, who requested anonymity identified his attacker as a 10th-grader. He said the two had gym together but were not friends and rarely interacted.

Classmates videoed the assault, violating the school's ban on phones, and texted it to others.
GETTY IMAGES
"[He] started shoving me with his shoulder," the victim told WISH. "He hit me two times in the head and then hit my face against the mirror. And then [he hit me] a couple more times to my face—and then someone pulled him off."


He believes the older student attacked him "because of my sexuality."

Two students recorded footage of the assault, authorities confirmed. The fact that they had their phones at the ready, says the victim, suggests it was a planned attacked.

On Friday Alexandria police confirmed they were investigating the incident but "[had] not uncovered any evidence" the victim's sexual orientation played a part, according to the network. "They're trying to say it's not a hate crime," the victim's mother told WISH. "Well, what else do you call it?"

She was on school grounds for a parent-teacher conference when the attack happened, was sent a clip of the assault by a friend.

"I thought I was going to throw up," she said. "In the video, you see my son is backed up against the wall, kind of like a corner of the concrete wall by the mirror. This kid's in front of him and there are kids on either side, blocking his escape. [The 10th-grader] just squats down and starts wailing on his face and head."

The video reportedly shows the student punching her son four times. "It all happened so fast," said the eighth-grader. "The whole thing lasted under a minute."

He reportedly suffered a broken nose, bruised eye and scratches behind his ear. "I don't really feel anything yet," he said. "I'm kind of numb."

In a statement Alexandria Community Schools superintendent Melissa Brisco said the district "was deeply troubled by Tuesday's assault."

"We want to assure our families and community that we will continue to work hard to provide a safe, caring and supportive learning environment for all our students," she added. As of Friday night, no charges had been filed.

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A hate-crimes law signed in April by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb allows judges to impose harsher sentences for criminals who victimize others based on race, religion and sexual orientation, among other traits.
He believes the older student attacked him "because of my sexuality."
Two students recorded footage of the assault, authorities confirmed. The fact that they had their phones at the ready, says the victim, suggests it was a planned attacked.
On Friday Alexandria police confirmed they were investigating the incident but "[had] not uncovered any evidence" the victim's sexual orientation played a part, according to the network. "They're trying to say it's not a hate crime," the victim's mother told WISH. "Well, what else do you call it?"
She was on school grounds for a parent-teacher conference when the attack happened, was sent a clip of the assault by a friend.
"I thought I was going to throw up," she said. "In the video, you see my son is backed up against the wall, kind of like a corner of the concrete wall by the mirror. This kid's in front of him and there are kids on either side, blocking his escape. [The 10th-grader] just squats down and starts wailing on his face and head."
The video reportedly shows the student punching her son four times. "It all happened so fast," said the eighth-grader. "The whole thing lasted under a minute."
He reportedly suffered a broken nose, bruised eye and scratches behind his ear. "I don't really feel anything yet," he said. "I'm kind of numb."
In a statement Alexandria Community Schools superintendent Melissa Brisco said the district "was deeply troubled by Tuesday's assault."
"We want to assure our families and community that we will continue to work hard to provide a safe, caring and supportive learning environment for all our students," she added. As of Friday night, no charges had been filed.
A hate-crimes law signed in April by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb allows judges to impose harsher sentences for criminals who victimize others based on race, religion and sexual orientation, among other traits.

May 27, 2019

Priest in Newark Church Pressed NJ School To Cover Gay Mural Painted by LGBT Students





Mural painted over by school
                           


Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, speaks about NJ’s conversion therapy ban, during an interview at her home in Ridgewood on April 18, 2019. She is the mother of Tyler 
Clementi, who died by suicide after being bullied because he was gay. North Jersey Record 
New Jersey's largest gay rights advocacy group is condemning a Bergen charter school for destroying part of a student's mural that supported the LGBT community.   

The Bergen Arts and Science Charter School in Hackensack, which leases its building from Holy Trinity Church, a Catholic church in Hackensack, painted over part of the mural that a 16-year-old student created because the church found it offensive.  

The group Garden State Equality was enraged by that act, and is asking the Archdiocese of Newark to have the school restore the mural.  

“It is offensive, unconscionable, and flatly unconstitutional for this church acting as a for-profit landlord to restrict a public school’s curriculum or censor student speech within those walls. This type of hate-fueled bigotry is precisely why New Jersey needs LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum to promote acceptance and understanding,” said Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino in a statement. 

A student at the Bergen Arts and Science Charter School painted a mural for an art project. The church, which owns the building, demanded the school paint over a rainbow heart signaling LGBTQ rights.

A student at the Bergen Arts and Science Charter School painted a mural for an art project. The church, which owns the building, demanded the school paint over a rainbow heart signaling LGBTQ rights. (Photo: Student)
Garden State Equality also said that the church has restricted education at Bergen Arts and Science before, including by forcing a school psychologist to remove a poster supportive of LGBT students.

The student who did the mural, a high school junior, told NorthJersey.com and The Record that the school was forced to paint over part of a mural that included a rainbow heart.

   Related image


I would like to ask this priest what in the picture did he find inmoral, ungodly or brought him bad memories of his past? Which one of those?    None? why do this?  I guess he forgot The  name Tyler Clementi, the young man that killed hmself after being bully in the school......Iam starting to think that this so called priest or one like him had something to do with the athmosphere of bullying in school that killed Tyler. I never met tyler but I know about him. If these students are being taught that a rainbow heart is bad because gays painted it, then it most be ok to make fun of them.
BRING THAT MURAL BACK!!  MUral and Moral are so close but I see no morality in those that took part in this. Lets say enough is enough!! 

Adam Gonzalez, Publisher

The Archdiocese of Newark, in a statement released on Thursday, asserted that there was no order to cover the rainbow heart, and that school officials must have made the decision to do so. But the mural did include "some symbols of sexuality that were inappropriate for the building," which is used by church parishioners as well as the school, the statement said.  


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Holy Trinity Church raised two concerns, according to the statement: "First that the school refrain from consistently painting on the building surfaces. Secondly that the school remove some content in a new painting, which included some symbols of sexuality that were inappropriate for the building, as the building is utilized by parishioners of the church as well as the school." 


The Rev. Paul Prevosto, pastor of Holy Trinity Church, told NorthJersey.com that parishioners brought the mural to his attention because of a depiction of male figures that looked "obscene." The mural included abstract figures with interlocking circle and arrow symbols that represent the male gender.

Prevosto also called the mural "offensive" and said he told the school to "take care of it."

The student, who did not want her name published, said her honors art class had painted murals inspired by great artists in the school cafeteria. She painted a piece featuring colorful silhouettes of people and a rainbow heart that was a replica of work by gay artist Keith Haring, whose colorful graffiti-style art gained popularity in the 1980s. 

Distraught by the incident, the student took to Twitter for support. 

"So ...my school's owned by a Catholic Church and they want me to take down my Keith Harring mural that supports the LGBT community," she said. "They think it's inappropriate...I'm heartbroken and I really never thought this could actually happen. Please help." 

The Catholic Church prohibits sexual activity between people of the same gender and its Catechism calls homosexual acts "intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law." 

But the church has also emphasized that homosexual people are not inherently sinful and should be welcomed in the faith community. 

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of the Newark Archdiocese has called for the church to be more inclusive, and he has celebrated Mass for openly gay Catholics. 

The school's lease agreement with the school includes a stipulation about Catholic values and states that "anything contrary to our Catholic sensitivity should not be displayed or seen."  

New Jersey this year became the second state in the nation to adopt a law that requires schools to teach about LGBT history, including the political, economic and social contributions of individuals who are gay and transgender. The law takes effect in the next school year.

Officials from Garden State Equality noted that charter schools like Bergen Arts and Science, which are public schools run by private organizations, will be required to comply with the law.

"Decades ago, the United State Supreme Court held that students ‘do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,’” said Garden State Equality board member and former state bar president Thomas Prol. “It is sadly ironic that an educational institution is now delivering a lesson in censorship to these students during their tender years."

Hannan Adely contributed to this story.
North Jersey

, North Jersey Record

December 8, 2018

VP Pence's State of Indiana School's Being Sued for Not Allowing The Students To Use Gay Related language(LGBT,Gay,etc)


By


Fort Wayne LGBT Advocates Respond To ACLU Lawsuit
Rebecca Green/WBOI
The Indiana ACLU sued East Allen County Schools last week, after allegations Leo Jr./Sr. High School administrators restricted students’ use of LGBT language, among other issues. LGBT activists in the Fort Wayne Area say the language used to describe the club mattered.  
The lawsuit filed by the ACLU stated school administrators did not allow students to refer to the club as as 'GSA,' or Gay-Straight Alliance, but rather as Leo Pride, which is a school acronym that stands for, 'Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diligence, and Excellence.'
Executive Director of Fort Wayne Pride, Nikki Fultz said while the word 'pride' is often associated with LGBT identity, the decision on what a club like Leo’s calls itself should be left up to students.
"I think words mean quite a bit," Fultz said, "So to say that you can’t say those words, in trying to let students know what’s happening, is a way to make students feel ashamed of who they are."
Fultz said GSA’s have become prevalent in the last few years, creating a sense of inclusivity for those involved in the groups, especially LGBT youths, who are at a higher risk to attempt suicide.
No hearing has been set for the injunction.

August 29, 2018

Nine Yr Old Boy Kills Himself After Enduring Days of Homophobic Bullying


   Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255                                                                     

Jamel Myles killed himself after homophobic bullying at school, his mother said ( CBS )
                                                                         



A nine-year-old boy has taken his own life after enduring four days of homophobic bullying at school, his mother has said. 
Leia Pierce said her son, Jamel Myles, told her over the summer he was gay and wanted to tell his classmates at his school in Denver, Colorado because he was proud of his orientation.
She said Jamel had begun wearing fake fingernails on 20 August, the first day back following the school holiday. Four days later, she found his lifeless body at home. 
The Denver coroner’s office confirmed Jamel died by suicide.
"My child died because of bullying. My baby killed himself,” Mr Pierce told The Denver Post. “He didn’t deserve this. He wanted to make everybody happy even when he wasn’t. I want him back so bad.”
She said Jamel’s eldest sister revealed other children had told the boy to kill himself. 
BBC takes on 'bible bashers' in anti-homophobia video
Counsellors were made available to children, teachers and school staff at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School on Monday, the newspaper reported. 
In a letter sent to families, Denver Public Schools (DPS) said Jamel’s death was an "unexpected loss for our school community". 
The note said: "Our goal is to partner with you in sharing this news with your child in the most appropriate way possible, with as much support as may be needed, so please feel free to reach out about how you want to handle this."
Ms Pierce said that over the summer, Jamel told her he was gay while curled up in the back seat of the family car.
“He was scared because he is a boy and it’s harder on boys when they come out,” Ms Pierce said. “I smiled at him and said I still loved him. This world is missing out.”
She added: “I’m dead inside. He was beautiful. He was magic. I lost my greatest gift.”
For confidential support call Samaritans on 116 123.
In the US, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free on 800-273-8255
You can also contact the following organisations for confidential support: https://www.mind.org.uk; https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk
More From Another Source:
DENVER – The mother of a 9-year-old Denver boy who committed suicide last week after being bulliedwent on Facebook to ask people to help stop bullying. She had recently learned her son was gay. 
Jamel Myles, died Thursday after being taken to the hospital, according to a report from the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner.
The manner of death was suicide and did not involve a firearm, the report said.
In her public Facebook post, Leia Pierce wrote, "Please we are all the different and thats what makes us the same because we all have 1 thing in common we're all different thats what makes this world beautiful .. i want justice for my son and every kid who is bullied.. i want bullying to end i never want to hear someone else go thru this pain."
In an interview with KUSA-TV in Denver, Pierce said her son had been bullied because he was gay.
According to KDVR-TV in Denver, Myles came out to his mother as gay over the summer. 
"And he looked so scared when he told me. He was like, 'Mom I’m gay.' And I thought he was playing, so I looked back because I was driving, and he was all curled up, so scared. And I said, I still love you," Pierce said, according to KDVR. 
Pierce said Myles wanted to tell his classmates. He was a fourth grade student at Joe Shoemaker School. Classes started Aug. 20, KDVR reported. Myles died Thursday. 
Pierce also wrote in a post: "My son died because of being bullied please tell ur kids to love everyone we all need to love each other."
Shoemaker Principal Christine Fleming sent a letter to parents Friday about Myles' death.
"It is with extreme sadness we share with you that one of our fourth-grade students, passed away yesterday. This is an unexpected loss for our school community," the letter said.
The letter also says Shoemaker staff had not informed students as of Friday afternoon and that, "We are leaving the decision on how this is communicated to your child to your discretion as you know your child best."
The Denver Public School District crisis team and a school social worker were available for students Monday.
"Our thoughts are with the student’s family at this time. We will continue to process this sad news as a school community," the letter says.
On Monday afternoon, the district sent out an updated statement. In it, a spokesperson specifically says all members of the "school community are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status."
It continued with the following:
"It is critical that our students receive all the supports they need to learn and thrive in a safe and welcoming environment. Our formal policies and practices reflect this commitment to ensuring that our LGBTQ+ students can pursue their education with dignity – from policies and training to prevent and stop bullying to formal policies and guidance materials that fully respect gender identity (including use of preferred pronouns and restrooms).
"Our priority right now is to help all students and adults with the grief they are experiencing and to better understand all the facts surrounding this tragic loss."
Pierce wished she had known about the bullying Myles received.
"I lost a reason to breathe... my heart, my sunshine, my son... he was being bullied and i didnt know. Not till it was to late.. i wish i knew everything so i could've stopped this," Pierce wrote in a Facebook post.
Caitlin Hendee and Jordan Chavez, KUSA-TV, Denver
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

June 22, 2018

NJ School Gets Sued Over A Bullied Girl's Suicide

Photo of Mallory Grossman

The parents of a 12-year-old girl who took her own life are suing the school district in the US state of New Jersey, saying it failed to prevent bullying.
Dianne and Seth Grossman say the school ignored repeated complaints that their daughter was being targeted.
The legal action says Mallory was sent text and Snapchat messages calling her a "loser", making fun of her looks, and prompting her to end her life.
Rockaway Township school district declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Filed on Tuesday, nearly a year after Mallory's death on 14 June 2017, the lawsuit accuses Copeland Middle School of failing to take significant action to prevent bullying.
It alleges that the school's response was to force Mallory to hug one of her alleged bullies, in lieu of disciplinary action, and accuses the school district of discouraging her parents from making a formal complaint.
Photograph of Mallory and her mother

Administrators also suggested she avoid her harassers by eating in an office instead of the lunchroom, the lawsuit alleges.
The school district issued a statement in August of last year saying "the allegation that the Rockaway Township School District ignored the Grossman family and failed to address bullying in general, is categorically false".
The statement also said that school officials had been directed not to comment further on the case.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, the Grossmans' attorney, Bruce Nagel, said complaints to the school had been "terribly ignored" and called smart phones "a lethal weapon in the hands of the wrong child".
"We are hopeful that the filing of this lawsuit will bring national awareness to the epidemic of cyber-bullying and that we do not have to attend any more funerals of students who have been the victims," Mr Nagel said.
Mrs Grossman told News 12 she wanted the school to "care less about test scores and care about the emotional intelligence" of children.
"Instead of removing Mallory from choir class," she said, "I wanted the girls that were tapping her chair every other day and calling her a [expletive] - I wanted those children removed from class. Not Mallory."
The lawsuit is the first cyber-bullying suicide case filed in New Jersey. The families of the group of girls accused of bullying Mallory have been notified that they could face legal action, Mr Nagel said.
School personnel and the township as a whole were also named in the lawsuit for failing to ensure children's safety in a local school.
In a letter posted on the school's website in April, the town's board of education said school superintendent Greg McGann, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, would be "commencing a leave of absence" through 30 June 2018.

How to get help
From Canada or US: If you're in an emergency, please call 911
You can contact the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Test Line by texting HOME to 741741
Young people in need of help can call Kids Help Phone on 1-800-668-6868
If you are in the UK, you can call the Samaritans on 116123

March 29, 2018

Christian Colleges Tangle Their Own Anti Gay Policies Against The Laws of The Land




Conservative Christian colleges, once relatively insulated from the culture war, are increasingly entangled in the same battles over LGBT rights and related social issues that have divided other institutions in America.

Students and faculty at many religious institutions are asked to accept a "faith statement" outlining the school's views on such matters as evangelical doctrine, scriptural interpretation and human sexuality. Those statements often include a rejection of homosexual activity and a definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Changing attitudes on sexual ethics and civil rights, however, are making it difficult for some schools, even conservative ones, to ensure broad compliance with their strict positions.

"Millennials are looking at the issue of gay marriage, and more and more they are saying, 'OK, we know the Bible talks about this, but we just don't see this as an essential of the faith,' " says Brad Harper, a professor of theology and religious history at Multnomah University, an evangelical Christian institution in Portland, Ore.

LGBT students at Christian schools are also increasingly likely to be open about their own sexual orientation or gender identity.
At Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., junior Sam Koster, who identifies as queer, finds fellow students to be generally tolerant.

"People I've met in the English Department," Koster says, "even in my dorms, they're like, 'Oh, you're queer? OK, cool. Do you want to go get pizza?' "

Staff and faculty at these Christian schools have to balance a need to attend to their students' personal and spiritual needs with a commitment to their schools' faith statements or official positions on sexuality.

"You've got those two values," says Mary Hulst, senior chaplain at Calvin. "We love our LGBT people. We love our church of Jesus Christ. We love Scripture. So those of us who do this work are right in the middle of that space. We are living in the tension."

Calvin College is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church, which holds that "homosexual practice ... is incompatible with obedience to the will of God as revealed in Scripture." Hulst leads Bible study groups with her LGBT students and discusses with them the passages that refer to same-sex relationships.

"Those are the clobber passages," Koster says. "They're used to clobber queer kids back into being straight."

Koster was troubled by those Bible verses at first but eventually became comfortable with a devout Christian identity and joined the Gay Christian Network.

In Guidance To Teachers, Church of England Targets Anti-LGBT Bullying

THE TWO-WAY
In Guidance To Teachers, Church of England Targets Anti-LGBT Bullying
"When I realized that my faith wasn't necessarily about the [Christian Reformed] Church, and it wasn't even necessarily about the Bible but about my relationship with God and that God is all-encompassing and loving, I felt very free," Koster says.

Koster says Hulst helped guide that faith journey, but Hulst herself is still torn between her love for her LGBT students and her own understanding that the Bible does not really allow them to act on their sexual orientation.

"It's a place where you need to be wise," Hulst says. "I tell them I want to honor Scripture, but I also honor my LGBT brothers and sisters."

It doesn't always work out.

"Someone from the LGBT community will say, 'If you will not honor the choices I make with my life, if I choose a partner and get married, then you're not actually honoring me.' I can understand that," Hulst says, grimacing. "I can see how they might come to that conclusion."

Legal entanglement

In addition to changing social and cultural attitudes, conservative religious schools face a changing legal environment regarding LGBT issues. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."

Though the language does not refer to sexual orientation or gender identity, some courts have interpreted Title VII as protecting LGBT individuals and the recent trend has been in a pro-LGBT direction.

LAW
Appeals Court Rules The Civil Rights Act Protects Gay Workers
Christian colleges and universities also have to consider Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972: "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."

As with Title VII, the question of whether "sex" under Title IX should be interpreted as referring to sexual orientation is hotly debated.

In April 2015, during a Supreme Court argument over the constitutional rights of LGBT individuals, Justice Samuel Alito noted that Bob Jones University in South Carolina had lost its tax-exempt status because of its prohibition on interracial dating and marriage.

"Would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?" Alito asked then-U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr.

"It's certainly going to be an issue," Verrilli answered. "I don't deny that."

The exchange alarmed officials at conservative religious schools, for which the loss of tax-exempt status or federal funding would be devastating. Their anxiety deepened a year later when the Obama administration notified colleges and universities that it interpreted Title IX as prohibiting discrimination "based on a student's gender identity, including discrimination based on a student's transgender status." Christian schools saw that letter as threatening a loss of federal funding if they refused to accommodate students who identify as transgender and want to be housed with other students who share their gender identity.

Trump Administration Rescinds Obama Rule On Transgender Students' Bathroom Use

Trump Administration Rescinds Obama Rule On Transgender Students' Bathroom Use
Upon taking office, the Trump administration rescinded the Obama directive, but some leaders at Christian schools still fear the cultural and legal trends are in favor of expanded LGBT rights on their campuses, which could mean their policies on sexual behavior could face serious challenges.

Educational institutions can currently apply for an exemption from the nondiscrimination provisions of Title VII by demonstrating that those provisions contradict their religious beliefs, but opinions vary on whether those exemptions will protect Christian colleges that seek to maintain strict student and employee policies relating to sexual orientation.

"Religious exemptions are exemptions because they are for small groups of people, and it doesn't necessarily undermine the full purpose of the law to have them," says Shapri LoMaglio, vice president for government affairs at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. "I think case law is upholding the idea that that exemption is the right thing in order to be faithful to the Constitution."

Other Christian college leaders, however, fear that the application of civil rights law to LGBT individuals could eventually jeopardize religious exemptions.

"Four years down the line, eight years down the line, depending on the makeup of the Supreme Court, depending on who is president, I can see the gay/transgender issue being pushed in a way that would seek to make Christian colleges either surrender their federal funding or change their position and conform with the wider consensus," says Carl Trueman, a professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.

Preparing for revoked funding

In a recent article in the journal First Things, titled "Preparing for Winter," Trueman argued that conservative Christian schools need to begin planning for a "worst-case scenario, where not only federal money but also tax-exempt status is revoked."

The combination of changing social attitudes and more complex legal issues were major points of discussion when the CCCU assembled representatives of more than 130 of its member institutions in Dallas in late January. College chaplains, student counselors and classroom professors reviewed how they were responding to LGBT students, while administrators and financial officers considered whether they need to prepare for more government scrutiny of their positions and policies on sexual orientation and activity.

One off-the-record session titled "Is Government Funding Replaceable?" was packed solid.

"The fear is so large in many institutions because 40 or 50 or maybe even 60 percent of their budgets are really coming from the federal government," says Dale Kemp, the chief financial officer at Wheaton College in Illinois and the speaker at the CCCU session. "To think they could survive without that [funding] would be catastrophic."

Brad Harper of Multnomah University, which affirms that "sexual relationships are designed by God to be expressed solely within a marriage between a man and a woman," says he has seen growing anxiety about the future of federal aid at like-minded schools in recent years.

"Every single Christian institution is wondering about that, and thinking, 'What happens if we lose government funding?' " he says. "Everybody has done the math about how much money you would have to raise if you lose government funding. You can't do it."

Just as vexing are the cultural questions, especially among the staff and faculty who work with LGBT students on a daily basis. All colleges and universities receiving federal aid are required to have a Title IX coordinator responsible for working with students who feel they have been subject to discrimination because of their sex. Whether gay or transgender students are entitled to Title IX protection is unresolved, so Title IX coordinators find themselves having to judge on their own how to respond to those students who seek their help.

"Sex has to do with identity and your gender and with who you are," says Christine Guzman, the Title IX coordinator at Azusa Pacific University in California, "so if there's a student who is feeling discriminated against because of their gender, then, yes, absolutely, I'm going to apply that law."

So far, at least, Guzman is attentive to gay and transgender students despite her school's official belief that human beings are created "as gendered beings" and that heterosexuality is "God's design."

At Calvin College, Hulst says the struggle to find an appropriate response to her LGBT students is among the most difficult challenges she has faced as a college chaplain.

"The suicidality of this particular population is much higher," she notes. "The chances that they will leave the church are much higher. These [realities] weigh very heavily on me."

TOM GJELTEN
NPR



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