Protesters gather at Multnomah University demonstrating against - KPTV - FOX 12

Protesters gather at Multnomah University demonstrating against Title IX exemption

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A group of demonstrators gathered at Multnomah University in northeast Portland Saturday to protest the university's request to remain exempt from Title IX.

According to the Department of Education, Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.

The university is requesting a renewal of their Title IX exemption from the Department of Education concerning gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

These waivers are allowed for religious universities, but some say they could be a license to discriminate.

Fox 12 learned that a letter from the president of the university, Dr. Craig Williford, told faculty and students about the protest.

Dr. Williford said in part:

Multnomah University does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. We ask all of our students to affirm that they will abide by our community standards and human sexuality policy. Our standards and polices align with historic, orthodox Christian views, our core values and our doctrinal statement.

Last week students defended the university's proposal, noting that there are people on campus dealing with gender identity and sexuality issues, and counselors and staff who compassionately help students with these issues.

"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," Bonnie Lundgren, Multnomah University student said.

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.

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

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