As we noted, George Fox University was granted a religious exemption allowing it to enforce its policy that students will be housed by their anatomical sex.
But the case for the transgender student who is asking to be housed with other male students is not over. Even though the university is now exempt from a Title IX lawsuit over this, the Justice Department is looking into whether the university's housing policy violates federal housing laws banning discrimination.
We were pleased to see our friend and colleague Jennifer Levi, who is the director of the Transgender Rights Project for GLADD, weigh in:
“What we’ve learned in the few cases that have gone forward is that the
only humane and consistent way to determine a person’s sex is based on
their lived experience as male or female, that any other approach,
whether anatomy or chromosomes, will discriminate against some people."
George Fox did change its policy to say that it would house students based on anatomical sex rather than birth sex (the original policy). As I already noted, this is both a very conservative and burdensome standard. And I have a hard time believing that they will start to check the anatomy of every student to make sure he or she is housed correctly. But if they do, they could call on the IOC and IAAF for some advice. Those organizations have a long history of trying to determine gender based on anatomy. Of course, even those groups have given that up and are now using (in equally problematic ways) chromosome testing.