In a move that LGBT advocates call "extremely hurtful and harmful," officials at BYU-Idaho have received federal approval not to protect transgender students from discrimination at the eastern Idaho campus.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports
BYU-Idaho officials cited the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
, which owns the Rexburg college, as their reason for refusing to protect transgender students from discrimination when it comes to admissions, school activities, housing, counseling and even health services.
A transgender student's claim of discrimination at the BYU-Idaho campus triggered a federal investigation, but college officials quickly sought a religious waiver from extending civil rights protections to transgender students. The Tribune
reports the school has had permission since the 1980s to "disregard certain elements [of Title IX protections] on the basis that they are inconsistent with the Mormon faith."
Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride
told The Tribune
, "In today's society, regardless of your religious values, no one wants to send their kid to a campus that's not a safe, welcoming place for all people."
Meanwhile, college officials insist the school's honor code "prohibits adopting a new gender identity or engaging in same-sex relationships."