College Pride recently released its “Shame List” of colleges that are the “absolute worst campuses for LGBTQ youth” in the United States. These schools supposedly discriminate against LGBTQ people and have requested federal exemptions to “perpetuate the harms of religion-based bigotry.” That’s how Campus Pride interprets schools’ desire to, say, maintain single-sex dormitories and showers, or teach that man-woman marriage is God’s design.
Campus Pride and the LGBTQ lobby rip on private schools for opting out of provisions of Title IX that would otherwise require them to endorse sexual behavior that conflicts with their religious beliefs, although Americans have a constitutionally guaranteed right to free exercise of religion. Most ironically, LGBT lobbyists even abuse Title IX themselves by demanding legal interpretations of it that would destroy women’s higher-education advantages, which the law exists to promote.
To understand the irony of Campus Pride berating schools for opting out of Title IX, or even how it relates to transgender students at all, one must delve deeper into that particular aspect of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. It was originally written in following the Civil Rights Act of 1974 and aimed at sex disparities in higher education.
Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Although Title IX has since been known primarily for its effects on sports in high school and college settings due to interpretations of it essentially giving women preferences above men, there is no mention of sports in the original text.
Let Men Into Women’s Spaces Or Else
Some transgender people, of course, attempt to approximate femininity despite their male sex. Doing so while a college student, then, confers on men Title IX perks aimed at women, particularly in two areas: safety and sports. Further, the trans lobby is arguing in court and regulatory agencies that the word “sex” in Title IX should instead be understood as “gender,” giving transgender people the special privileges under the law without having to get Congress to actually change the law to encompass transgender people.
For example, a group called Safe Spaces for Women, which “provides survivors of sexual assault with care, support, understanding, and advice,” submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, explained how Title IX regulatory changes transgender lobbyists want can harm women: “While Safe Spaces for Women bears no animus toward the transgendered community, it is deeply concerned that … survivors of sexual assault are likely to suffer psychological trauma as a result of encountering biological males—even those with entirely innocent intentions—in the traditional safe spaces of women’s showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms.”
These fears are not unfounded. There are numerous examples of men taking advantage of transgendered facilities to surreptitiously record women in locker rooms and restrooms. By allowing people to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and similar facilities of their choice, it creates an environment that can be hostile to women and open up pathways for abuse. Traditionally that would be grounds for a Title IX complaint on women’s behalf. But trans activists like Campus Pride are trying to use a law meant to protect women to instead strip women’s legal protections.
Men Using Women’s Advantages Against Them
There’s also a distinct athletic advantage for men who transition to women and play on high school and collegiate teams. It’s so clear one would have to be blind not to see how fraudulent this is, given men’s innately greater physical strength compared to women. Female-to-male transgender Mack Beggs made waves earlier this year because she won two girls’ wrestling championships in Texas while taking testosterone. It’s easy to see why testosterone injections might give someone an advantage over female competitors in wrestling.
The same thing happened this year with transgender sprinter Andraya Yearwood, who was born a male but won two races in the girls’ state championships as a transgender person. This story too created controversy and invoked a sense of inequality and unfairness. If a young person still has male body parts but is calling himself a girl and competing against girls, how could he not enjoy a physical advantage? This is an abuse of Title IX, to be sure, although the LGBTQ community is hard-pressed to admit it.
There’s actually already a huge debate about whether transgender people can even use Title IX to their advantage. After all, the text specifically uses the word “sex,” not “gender.” While in the past typically most of the public would have agreed biology dictates one’s gender, today many would like to propagate the myth that gender is fluid and a person’s sex is a personal choice detached from biological reality. So far, several transgender people have successfully sued companies and organizations to claim discrimination under Title IX, even though it’s an unprecedented legal stretch.
We Just Want to Live the Way We Believe
To avoid getting tangled up in the issues presented above, many faith-based colleges opt out of Title IX altogether. A cursory glance at Campus Pride’s list reveals many of these schools are faith-based. Many have either opted out of Title IX after being granted exemptions or are actively “against” LGBTQ views of sex and gender, both largely due to religious reasons.
Schools such Criswell College in Old East Dallas, Texas, and The Baptist College of Florida in Graceville boast enrollment sizes of fewer than 700 students. Their degree programs are built around curricula designed around ministry, Christian studies, and biblical studies. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea but neither is it harmful, just different—some might even say healthy, imperative, and a religious right.
Many of these institutions believe homosexuality is a sin and that while legal in the United States, gay marriage is not acceptable under Christian doctrine, thus they innately oppose the LGBTQ agenda. Similarly, a hard-core vegan might not go to a butcher’s or show her children how to cook steak because she’s vehemently opposed to eating animal products, even though both of these are legal activities: It’s not bigotry but a belief system.
To function in accord with their deepest beliefs and protect their students, especially women, these schools have opted out of Title IX via exemptions. Schools don’t have the flexibility to opt out for any reason they choose—exemptions are largely granted for religious reasons. With more than 5,300 colleges and universities in the United States, Campus Pride is engaging in a form of bigotry, targeting schools simply because they’re choosing to educate based on core beliefs that happen to have a basis in religion.
At first the LGBTQ movement promised same-sex marriage and “bathroom debates” were merely measures to ensure equality. Fast-forward a few years, and it’s clear they were nothing but paving the way to create preferences that give LGBT politics the power to trump any decision in which their desires conflict with others’ rights and beliefs.
The United States is a tolerant nation and, more often than not, people are willing to accommodate others. Unfortunately, there is a segment of society that doesn’t want accommodation. They want capitulation. They don’t want equality; they want privilege.
Campus Pride and other like-minded groups are not interested in access, accommodation, or even equality, but about shutting down dissenting voices and using the law as a sword rather than a shield. There is no better example than a group attempting to use Title IX to their advantage, but which then tries to eviscerate others who would opt out of Title IX because they feel it might hinder their ability to practice their own beliefs.
Correction: An earlier version of this article identified Mack Beggs as a biological male. She is a biological female.