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March 16, 2023



Joe Baxter,

LGBTQ+ Students Appeal to Ninth Circuit in Title IX Religious Exemptions Case

On March 13, 2023, the Religious Exemption Accountability Project (REAP) filed a Notice of Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of 41 LGBTQ+ appellants in the case Elizabeth Hunter, et al v. The U.S. Dept. of Education et al. This case challenges the use of religious exemptions to discriminate against students on the basis of their sexual orientation/gender identity-expression, denying them full and equal access to federally funded educational programs at religiously affiliated universities across the nation.


The appeal is from a January ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, granting a motion to dismiss on the students’ claims for relief. 


The students appealing include a mix of current students (some of whom are using a pseudonym for their safety), recently expelled students, and recent alumni who suffered conversion therapy and other discrimination from their colleges for being LGBTQ+.


Paul Carlos Southwick

Director, Religious Exemption Accountability Project


Joseph Baxter

Deputy Director, Religious Exemption Accountability Project


Alletta Brenner

Perkins Coie, LLP

Co-Counsel for the appeal


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