challenging the Education Department’s habit of granting exemptions from Title IX to religiously-affiliated colleges and universities condones, arguing that the process encourages discrimination against LGBTQ students who attend those institutions.For example, in the complaint against Liberty University, REAP alleges that Liberty regularly discriminates against LGBTQ students through its policies and practices, including its statement on sexuality and relationships in the Student Honor Code and the role of the on-campus group Armor Bearers.
The complaint also alleges that, between 2008 and 2012, the school discriminated against Luke Wilson, a former student and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, by classifying his LGBTQ identity as a violation of the Honor Code and pressuring him to undergo conversion therapy if he wished to avoid punishment.“I am beyond delighted that Liberty is (finally) being investigated for its conversion therapy program — a program that was in operation for over a decade,” Wilson said in a statement. “As a survivor of Liberty’s one-on-one conversion therapy program and as one who went to one of the group conversion therapy meetings on campus, I have since worked to raise awareness about this heinous practice that has ravaged the lives of countless queer Liberty students.”Similar policies are in place or have been enacted at the other schools being investigated.
For instance, La Sierra University, which is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has policies and practices, including in its student handbook, that endorse the Seventh-day Adventist doctrine on homosexuality, which is that sexual intimacy belongs only within the confines of a one-man, one-woman relationship.
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