By Bob Allen
A Califorinia Christian college is updating its sexuality policies to include issues of gender identity as a sister school in the state faces a discrimination lawsuit.
Biola University’s work on a policy regarding transgender individuals coinciides with former CBU student Domaine Javier’s filing a lawsuit Feb. 25 for discriminatory expulsion from the Riverside, Calif., school affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention.
Cal Baptist expelled Javier in 2011 after she revealed on an MTV reality show that she is biologically male. The university charged Javier with deception for checking “female” on her online application form.
California Baptist University’s student code of conduct includes “refraining from sexual conduct outside of marriage, as defined in the Baptist Faith and Message, June 2000, Article XVIII.”
That statement says: “Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.”
“There is nothing in Cal Baptist’s policies addressing gender identity issues or transgender people,” Javier’s attorney, Paul Southwick, told the Biola University campus newspaper. “The only thing that is discussed is homosexuality.”
Cal Baptist also forbids “committing or attempting to engage in fraud, concealing identity, or using or attempting to use a false identity” and “knowingly furnishing false information” to a university official.
But since Javier views herself as a female and checked that as her gender on the application, Southwick says his client should be treated like any other student.
Biola, founded in 1908 as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, has admissions policies stricter than CBU, requiring that all students be professing Christians.
A Biola University statement on human sexuality adopted in May 2012 rejects “any act of sexual intimacy between two persons of the same sex” and describes how to deal with individuals who “struggle with same-sex behavior, same-sex attraction and/or sexual orientation issues” but says nothing about gender identity.
Biola officials hope to have a new gender identity statement in place by fall.