Campus Pride, a nonprofit dedicated to creating safe learning environments for LGBTQ students nationwide, has released a “Shame List” of colleges and universities it calls the “absolute worst for LGBTQ youth.” Nine Texas colleges, all with religious ties, were among the 102 schools on the list.
All of the colleges on the list have applied for exemptions from the Title IX statute, a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Schools that fail to observe Title IX cannot receive federal funding. However, it is possible to ask for an exemption if a school is able to prove the amendment is “inconsistent with the religious tenets of the organization.”
Three of the Texas colleges to make the list have applied for a waiver:
- Arlington Baptist College
- Criswell College in Dallas
- University of Dallas in Irving
The other six have been approved for a waiver either this or last year:
- East Texas Baptist University in Marshall
- Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene
- Howard Payne University in Brownwood
- Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie
- University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton
- Wayland Baptist University in Plainview
While Title IX was enacted in 1972 primarily to clear the way for girls pursuing higher education, the law was cited by the Obama administration in its guidelines about transgender students’ use of school restrooms.
Campus Pride encourages students who find their school on the list to reach out and file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. The organization releases another list annually of the 30 top colleges for LGBTQ students. No Texas schools made the “Best of the Best” list.