Religion

Tennessee Christian University Wins Right To Ban LGBT Students, Women Who've Had Sex (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Randall O'Brien.Randall O'Brien.

Carson-Newman University, a private Southern Baptist college in Jefferson County, Tennessee, requested and received a waiver from the federal government allowing the school to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and women who have had sex outside of marriage (video below).

"This is who we are as a Christian university," Dr. Randall O'Brien, president of Carson-Newman, told WVLT. "These are our religious principles, and in a changing world we like to reaffirm this is who we are and who we intend to be."

Popular Video

A judge looked this inmate straight in the eyes and said something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

Popular Video

A judge looked this inmate straight in the eyes and said something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

O'Brien, sent a letter — on the advice of a lawyer — to the federal government in May asking to be exempt from Title IX, a federal law that bans the discrimination of students.

Carson-Newman now has legal standing to ban or expel LGBT students, women who have had an abortion, unwed mothers and female students who are pregnant.

O'Brien was asked by the news station if the college discriminated, and he responded, "I don't know how it would be."

When asked why he would file the waiver, O'Brien replied, "That's a good question."

"I believe (our lawyer) felt that it might strengthen our position in relation to First Amendment rights," O'Brien added. "I don't really know why something would be necessary beyond that, but that was his counsel and since he's an expert in the field, we followed the template."

Apparently there is a "template," as the school's lawyer has reportedly advised other schools to do the same. These “right-to-discriminate” waivers are reportedly becoming more common for religious educational institutions.

The Column reported that 27 schools got Title IX waivers from the U.S. Department of Education, and another nine schools have waivers pending, over the past 18 months.

Title IX was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1972 to stop discrimination based upon sex, but the decades-old law includes a part that allows a school “controlled by a religious organization” an exemption from the law if it “would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.”

Exemption requests were relatively rare until the Obama administration announced in 2014 that Title IX “extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity,” which many saw as protecting transgender people. That set off an alarm in conservative Christian schools, which have moved to get an exemption in order to expel and ban LGBT students.

Sources: WVLT, The Column / Photo credit: WVLT