Multnomah Univ. requests Title IX waiver; critics fear bias agai - KPTV - FOX 12

Multnomah Univ. requests Title IX waiver; critics fear bias against LGBTQ

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Multnomah University in northeast Portland is asking the federal government for a waiver concerning gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

These waivers are allowed for religious schools under Title IX, but some say they're a license to discriminate against students.

According to its website, Multnomah University's mission is to make students "biblically competent, academically proficient, spiritually formed, and culturally engaged servant leaders." 

The University's administration did not answer our request for an interview Friday, but Fox 12 was able to talk to some students at the University.

Junior Bonnie Lundgren said she trusted the people at the school to make the right decisions. 

"We're absolutely committed to the Bible and we're absolutely committed to the Bible teachings and those who enter here need to understand that," she said.

But Lundgren also said there are people on campus dealing with gender identity and sexuality issues and she knows there are counselors and staff who compassionately help students with these issues.

Still, Basic Rights Oregon's Andrea Zekis said she worries about individuals on some religious campuses who struggle with these issues and may not feel welcomed or accepted.

 Zekis is herself a transgender woman and she went to a religious college which she loved.

"Everyone should be able to have an education, and an education that has value to them and helps them grow and succeed," she said.

Some religious schools seeking these waivers are concerned about living arrangement for same sex married couples as well as transgender students.

George Fox University got a Title IX waiver last year, after a transgender male student named Jayce asked to live in a male-only dorm. 

The University declined the request, so Jayce, who will graduate this Spring, lives off campus.

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