Recently the Trump administration came out with a new rule that will essentially take funding from schools that do not allow religious groups the same access to facilities and funding as non-religious groups. To read more about this new rule you can visit apnews.com here. The rule was initially issued by Trump’s Education Department yesterday as this comes with about eight weeks until the election. All eyes are on him and his administration and this rule will now give wider speech protections at US colleges. It is believed that this move was made because conservatives felt suppressed on university campuses. As a part of this policy, the Education Department now has the authority to regulate or decide to terminate certain grants to public universities that violate the First Amendment.
Another key point of this new rule is that schools may be at a disadvantage and lose funding if they do not give religious groups the same rights and benefits as other campus groups. The Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said, “Students should not be forced to choose between their faith and their education, and an institution controlled by a religious organization should not have to sacrifice its religious beliefs to participate in Department grants and programs.”
So far, the policy does not apply for private colleges and does not cover a large pool of money, but this is still significant as others can adopt similar policies. There was a case in 2018 at The University of Iowa where several religious groups were kicked off because they did not adhere to a policy forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation and other classifications. It is known that the university conducted its investigation after a gay student was not accepted for a leadership role in a Christian group on campus. A court ruled against the school the next year.
Many see this new move as a politically powered one to gain more support from Trump’s Christian supporters. Trump defended his policy by citing on his Twitter, “Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education.”
As you can see, it is imperative that we continue to band together and educate each other about discrimination within the LGBTQ community as well as how we can create more awareness within our circles. Transpire Help is a non-profit organization that offers educational resources to the LGBTQ community as well as opportunities to become more confident in approaching similar topics with others. For more information about our mission or to help us and donate, visit here.