Thursday, March 30, 2023

Regent University Among Six Virginia Schools On Campus Pride’s ‘Worst List” For LGBTQ Students

Regent University in Virginia Beach was recently named one of 180 of the worst schools for LGBTQ students in America by Campus Pride. Regent qualified for the Worst List because members of its staff signed onto the Nashville Statement condemning LGBTQ people and for using religion-based bigotry to perpetuate stereotypes and harm toward LGBTQ youth.

The Worst List has identified the worst, most unsafe campuses for LGBTQ youth in the United States since 2015. The colleges & universities listed have chosen to openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth and/or have requested or received Title IX exemptions to perpetuate the harms of religion-based bigotry.

Regent is one of 40 Christian colleges and universities named as plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education. The suit, Elizabeth Hunter, et al. v. U.S. Department of Educationchallenges the religious exemption in Title IX, a statute passed in 1972 prohibiting sex-based discrimination against students at schools that receive federal funds.

The Religious Exemption Accountability Project (REAP), a national nonprofit that advocates for LGBTQ students at taxpayer-funded religious schools that actively discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, said, “Religious exemptions to civil rights statutes come at a price. The price is paid by the young and vulnerable who find themselves at the mercy of religiously affiliated, taxpayer-funded social service and educational institutions that often turn them away or force them into the closet. REAP’s lawsuit asserts the constitutional and basic human rights of LGBTQ+ students, seeking to end the sexual, physical and psychological abuses perpetrated under the religious exemption to Title IX at thousands of federally-funded schools, colleges and universities across America.”

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Oregon this past March with 33 plaintiffs. Seven more joined last summer, including a former Regent University student whom OutWire757 will interview for the January edition of OutLife757 Magazine. On November 1, the Attorneys General from 18 states and the District of Columbia filed an Amicus Brief in the lawsuit.

Founded in 1978 by Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson, the school’s president, Regent University has an enrollment of 9,000 students.

Other Virginia schools names to the list are:

  • Bluefield University (formerly Bluefield College)
  • Liberty University
  • Patrick Henry College
  • Southern Virginia University
  • Virginia Baptist College

Campus Pride represents the only national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. The organization is a volunteer-driven network for and by student leaders. The primary objective of Campus Pride is to develop necessary resources, programs and services to support LGBT and ally students on college campuses across the United States.

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