Young America's Foundation, a conservative political organization, is refusing to take part in LGBT sensitivity training at George Washington University (GW) in Washington D.C.
The GW Student Association called for mandatory "safe zone" training sessions for student leaders and faculty members last month. The training would include gender identities and sexualities.
However, Emily Jashinsky, president of the Young America's Foundation chapter at GW, told The GW Hatchet:
Mandated training is not really being very tolerant of all religious beliefs. The way that people who are deeply Christian behave is for a reason, and if you’re training them to change that behavior, there’s obviously a problem with that.
The Young America's Foundation is predominantly Christian, conservative, pro-life and anti-gay marriage. The group plans to host a speech by former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum next month.
Jashinsky questioned the LGBT training, especially transgender students’ list of preferred pronouns, but said the group was open to making friends with LGBT students.
The Young America’s Foundation wants a religious exemption from the LGBT training classes, but the student government didn't approve it, noted The College Fix.
As a result, the Young America’s Foundation may lose its university funding.
Allied in Pride, a pro-LGBT group on campus, recently stated on its Facebook page:
If GW YAF refuses to participate in safe zone trainings that are aimed at increasing safety and understanding, then they should be considered a hate group, and thereby, be revoked of all funding from the Student Association at The George Washington University (SA). The Young America's Foundation is a political organization, not a religious one, so they cannot seek a religious exemption. And their refusal to use preferred gender pronouns should be considered an act of violence and a violation of the non-discrimination clause required in all GW student organizations' Constitutions.