Advancing Religious Liberty
11/22/10 at 12:35 PM 0 Comments

Anti-Bullying Bill: A Potential Threat to Christ-Centered Colleges

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Author: ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor

The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2010 has been introduced in the House and Senate.  The bill would require institutions of higher education receiving federal financial assistance to create and enforce policies forbidding “harassment” on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion, among other things.  Harassment is defined to include (among other things) the creation of a “hostile educational environment.”

The bill, if it became law, might threaten the freedom of Christ-centered institutions of higher education.  Many of these schools forbid their students from engaging in homosexual behavior on the ground that the Bible deems it immoral.  It is not difficult to imagine that someone might argue that Christ-centered colleges and universities have “educational environments” that are “hostile” to those who engage in homosexual conduct.  Along similar lines, it is not hard to imagine that someone might argue that the educational environments at these institutions are “hostile” to non-Christians.   Although such arguments are unfair and inaccurate, it is reasonable to worry that an unsympathetic adjudicator might accept them.

Although the bill is unlikely to pass the lame duck session of the 111th Congress, it is reasonable to anticipate that it will be reintroduced in the 112th.

This post originally appeared here.

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