FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2022
Federal Government Unjustly Dismisses LGBTQ+ Title IX Complaint against BYU
The Religious Exemption Accountability Project (“REAP”) strongly condemns the dismissal of the federal investigation into BYU’s discrimination against LGBTQ+ students.
The government dismissed the investigation after giving BYU an opportunity to claim a religious exemption. BYU receives taxpayer money and would otherwise be required to comply with Title IX, unless BYU asserted a religious exemption, which BYU did. In response, the government dismissed the investigation, permitting BYU to maintain government funding while actively discriminating against LGBTQ+ students.
Paul Carlos Southwick, the director of REAP said: “This is another example of the federal government siding with discrimination and powerful institutions like BYU at the expense of vulnerable LGBTQ+ students. By dismissing this investigation, the federal government has not only dashed the hopes of many LGBTQ+ students who saw the investigation as a sign of good things to come, but it has placed the government’s stamp of approval on BYU’s discriminatory practices, which the government not only funds, but has now formally handed out a license to discriminate.”
Religious freedom is not a license to harm. We must ensure that all students are safe on their campuses while attending taxpayer-funded universities, whether they are religiously affiliated or not.
Since the government refuses to hold BYU and other institutions accountable, REAP urges everyone to stand with us by telling our government that we will not accept their active role in discrimination.
The Religious Exemption Accountability Project (REAP) empowers queer, trans and non-binary students at more than 200 taxpayer-funded religious colleges and universities that actively discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Through civil rights litigation, storytelling, oral history, and research, we work toward a world where LGBTQ students on all campuses are treated equally, with safety and respect.