Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

Assembly Passes Anti Religious College Bill

Bill requires even Christian colleges, to have transgender bathrooms


Even Westmont College in Santa Barbara, an historically Christian college, will have to offer Transgender bathrooms soon.

Legislation being considered currently in the California State Assembly would sharply curtail the ability of religious colleges to direct the education of non-clerical students.

The Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA) College an historically Christian college, will have to offer Transgender bathrooms soon.

Sponsored by state Senator Ricardo Lara, who identifies as part of the legislature's LGBT caucus, the bill, SB1146, would restrict religious exemptions currently given for federal Title IX regulations. These exemptions have until now applied to all students who attend religious colleges and allow colleges to require theology or religious studies classes as part of the curriculum or attendance at worship services. The exemptions also allow classes to incorporate prayer into the class time. The effect of SB1146 would be to restrict these requirements to only those students who are actively preparing for the ministry or for teaching theological subjects.

Also prohibited under this bill would be the ability of these religious universities - all private - to keep separate male and female dormitories and bathrooms.

SM1146 has already been approved by the California Senate.

According to Dr. Derry Connolly, president of John Paul the Great Catholic College in Escondido, "It severely impacts citizens' constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion."


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