Lawmakers in California have approved a
bill that would require private religious universities to publicly
disclose if they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or
Senate Bill 1146 would require
universities to notify the California Student Aid Commission that
they have been granted a Title IX exemption. They would also be
required to inform students and staff.
SB 1146 was authored by Senator Ricardo
Lara, an openly gay Democrat from Bell Gardens.
“With SB1146, we have shed light on
the appalling discriminatory practices LGBTQ students face at private
religious universities in California,” said Lara. “No university
should have a license to discriminate, especially those receiving
state funds. This bill represents a critical first step in the
ongoing efforts to protect students from discrimination for living
their truths or loving openly.”
A Title IX exemption allows
universities to skirt the federal law's ban on discrimination based
on gender, including gender identity and not conforming to gender
According to Equality California, which
backs the bill, such exemptions have increased from one in 2013 to
over 43 nationwide today.
“Many students or employees are not
aware of a particular school's policies until they are already
enrolled or on the payroll,” said Equality California Executive
Director Rick Zbur. “SB 1146 would expose anti-LGBT discrimination
for all to see and would allow potential students or employees to
The bill now heads to Governor Jerry
Brown for his signature.