Saturday, April 05, 2014

Oregon university denying transgender student housing

In a decision that looks like it will not stand based on both state and federal discrimination laws, George Fox University has said it will not provide housing to "Jayce M.", a transgender man who would like to live with his male friends in on-campus in his junior year.
The Christian school does not currently have a policy addressing gender, but this situation has inspired them to write one that will say that students will be housed based on their biological sex.
And though the school has met with Jayce, his mother, and other advocates for his cause, school administrators have not changed their position about on-campus housing.
Additionally, in order to receive special permission to live off-campus (presumably all undergraduates are required to live on-campus with special exemptions offered), the school is requiring documentation that Jayce legally change his name, his driver's license, his birth certificate, and tell all his potential roommates and their parents that he is transgender.
The school eventually backed off of the birth certificate issue (Jayce was born in Tennessee which does not allow changes to birth certificates for transgender people,) and the obligation to tell roommates and their parents (privacy rights).
Because none of these options are viable, fair, or legal, Jayce and his lawyer have initiated a Title IX lawsuit against the school. The university's stance also appears to violate Oregon's anti-discrimination statutes. Neither the latter nor Title IX provide exemptions for religiously affiliated schools when it comes to issues of housing.