My name is Laur Lugos, and I’m a student at Seattle Pacific University, which is one of the 200+ religiously affiliated colleges that claim a religious exemption from the federal Title IX law, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in education settings.
I’m proud to be a part of the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific University, our student government branch here, and I’m also proud to have organized this year against anti-LGBTQ+ policies at SPU, including those that impact queer students and faculty. We have carved space for conversation about LGBTQ+ discrimination by hosting public forums with upper administration, we have collaborated with our graduate progams to collect quantitative data around the LGBTQ+ experience at SPU, and we have celebrated queer joy as we continue to demand change.
I’m grateful for the support that we received this year from REAP, the Religious Exemption Accountability Project. REAP’s team worked with us to get the word out about SPU’s anti-LGBTQ+ policies, with their Campus Organizer Erin Green providing important insight and guidance on how to effectively mobilize and push back. And in November we took over REAP’s Instagram to share what’s going on at our school and celebrate an awesome concert from Semler.
Our team was thankful for the love from REAP this year, and now I hope you’ll join us in showing love back, by donating to REAP’s end-of-year campaign. They’re aiming to raise $10,000 by the end of the month – and they’re so close. Your donation of $20, $15, or what you’re able will go a long way.
REAP may have grabbed headlines and online buzz for filing a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the Department of Education’s federal religious exemption to Title IX. But their impact stretches beyond the courtroom and onto campuses across the country.
Their work helps support LGBTQ+ student organizing efforts like ours, as the only national group focused exclusively on LGBTQ+ students at religious colleges and universities.