Home Christian News Federal Court Dismisses LGBTQ Students’ Class-Action Discrimination Lawsuit

Federal Court Dismisses LGBTQ Students’ Class-Action Discrimination Lawsuit

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented three Christian colleges that joined the suit as co-defendants, hailed the decision as a win for religious freedom.

“Title IX, which applies to schools receiving federal financial assistance, explicitly protects the freedom of religious schools to live out their deeply and sincerely held convictions,” senior counsel David Cortman said in a statement to RNS. “The court correctly concluded that Title IX’s religious liberty exemption doesn’t violate any of the plaintiffs’ claimed rights.”

The ADF said that the ruling preserves religious universities’ right to accept federal funding via financial aid for students.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that they saw their applications rejected or were harassed, expelled, disciplined for social media posts or prohibited from dating people of the same sex, among other things, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Calling the ruling “deeply disappointing,” Elizabeth Hunter, one of the plaintiffs in the case, added, “We deserve better, our country deserves better, and history deserves better. The silence and erasure of LGBTQ+ students should not be a precedent.”

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The lawyer for the Department of Education argued that the religious schools themselves — and not the department — were responsible for any injury to the students. They also argued that many of the students involved at the schools are no longer enrolled there.

“Defendants argue that Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that their injuries
are redressable given that many Plaintiffs have either left the educational
institutions at issue — through graduation or otherwise — or are no longer seeking
attendance there,” Aiken, the federal district judge, wrote.

Several religious schools as well as the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities intervened in the lawsuit, filing a joint motion to dismiss the case with the Department of Education.

“This is not the end,” said plaintiff Veronica Bonifacio Penales in a press release. “If there is anything to come out of this, I know it is merely the start of a movement led by the students failed by the people who were supposed to protect us.”

Yonat Shimron contributed to this story. 

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This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.