Christian colleges and universities in California sought to maintain a religious exemption from complying with homosexual “anti-discrimination” laws that conflicted with their beliefs.
If religious schools failed to comply, they’d lose government funding, which includes grants for low-income students.
One school, Biola University, listed what SB 1146 would do to their ability to teach and train Christian students. BCN noted in June that without the exemption, “Christian schools could no longer require a profession of faith or integrate faith with academic subjects. Students would not have to attend chapel, and Bible courses would be electives…The bill would exempt only seminaries.”
Sen. Ricardo Lara, the lawmaker who introduced the bill, decided after a backlash to remove the provisions that would have weakened the religious exemption, which included allowing homosexual students disciplined (or faced other forms of “discrimination”) for violating the school’s moral code to sue. From the Los Angeles Times:
Instead, [Sen. Lara] will press forward with the amended bill that would still require such schools to disclose if they have an exemption and report to the state when students are expelled for violating morality codes.
Lara’s decision came after a half-dozen universities formed a new committee called the Assn. of Faith Based Institutions and contributed $350,000.
The group has flooded the districts of members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, including Chairwoman Lorena S. Gonzalez (D-San Diego), with mailers saying the bill violates religious freedoms and urging voters to contact their Assembly person.
“Stop state control of private education,” says one mailer to Gonzalez’s constituents. Her committee is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday.
If the bill becomes law, it’s likely a temporary reprieve. Christians who oppose the government’s attempt to suppress their views on homosexuality have a long battle ahead, even at their own private, religious colleges and universities.
Photo credit: American Life League (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved