Controversial CA Bill that would regulate Christian universities has been rescinded.
Christian schools in California heave a sigh of relief as a new amendment to the SB 1146 has been canceled. The amendment would have prevented them from giving preferential treatment in terms of admissions and facilities to students, based on their religion and sexual orientation.
Senator Ricardo Lara had proposed a bill to treat backgrounds equally, irrespective of their religious and cultural backgrounds or orientation. Until now, institutions run by religious communities have been reserving their right to turn down applications by gay students, or children of gay parents as well as giving first preference to applicants from their own communities.
This proposal was met with a backlash by religious groups who claimed that this proposal would prevent them from freely practicing their faith. Protesters have argued that they have a right to adhere to the views that their communities hold towards homosexuals and people of other communities and as such, have a right to choose who gets admission into their institutions. Religious institutions have also been teaching students that homosexual relations are unnatural and against God's laws.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) August 10, 2016
The amendment in this bill requires that the institutions that come under it will have to disclose to the state all the exemptions that they have spelled out, and also submit a report to the authorities about the students who have been expelled for going against the “morality codes” as have been defined by the institution. These institutions countered this demand by saying that this was an attempt to publicly shame their beliefs.
Senator Lara clarifies that his aim had always been to throw light on the sad plight of the members of the LGBT community who are discriminated against and treated inhumanely by the private religious institutions of California. He defends his proposal by insisting that his object was not to shame the schools, but to study the frequency and magnitude of the occurrences of such discriminatory practices. Talking about the repeal of the proposal, he says that he does not want to rush the bill so that unintended consequences can be avoided.
The bill was strongly opposed by more than 140 leaders from Jewish, Christian (of various dimensions) and Muslim communities. A similar incident arose around two years ago when the state banned InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from operating at all the state-run schools. A similar opposition by religious communities resulted in the state restoring the group back.
According to an infographic by Abilene Christian University, students who grow spiritually during their undergraduate studies are more likely to have higher grade-point averages.
- World Religion News “Bill Targets CA Christian Colleges Transgender Discrimination”
- World Religion News “CA Bill Protects LGBT Students by Limiting the Faith of Universities”
- Christian Post
- Christianity Today
- Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
- SB 1146
- Abilene Christian University