Today, Campus Pride officially released its 2021 Worst List, naming 180 campuses across the country as “the absolute worst, most unsafe campuses for LGBTQ youth.” The colleges and universities included in this year’s list have either received or applied for a Title IX religious exemption to openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth, or they have a demonstrated history of anti-LGBTQ policies, programs, and practices.
Shane Windmeyer, Founder and Executive Director of Campus Pride, spoke about the need for a list of this kind saying,
“Campus Pride was founded 20 years ago with a vision of campuses and a society free of anti-LGBTQ prejudice, bigotry, and hate. And while much progress has been made since then, clearly there remains a lot more work to do as we develop and train future leaders to create safer, more inclusive communities on campuses.”
Windmeyer also spoke about why the list is the largest one since 2016, and course the reason begins and ends with the Trump administration. For fours years they waged on a war on the queer community doing every single day.
“This is the most exhaustive update to our annual ‘Worst List’ since 2016, with more than 50 new campuses added this year in part because of the lack of updates in filing procedures since the Trump Administration’s Department of Education told campuses they did not have to apply for Title IX religious exemptions to openly discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Biden Administration has yet to clarify this DOE memo or mandate that a campus must apply for Title IX to discriminate based on religious beliefs.”
Here are examples of five universities and the reason or reason they find themselves on the list.
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY – is one of the campuses named in the class-action lawsuit, Hunter v. the U.S. Department of Education, for abuses to LGBTQ+ students. It also has a history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Their Insta handle proudly labels themselves Christian commitment, Caring community. The Caring Community they talk about doesn’t include everyone.
Brigham Young University – included on the Worst List because former President of the University, Elder Jeffrey Holland denounced LGBTQ+ students, including Matt Easton’s heroic act of coming out in his commencement speech as valedictorian of BYU’s political science program, and for suggesting that BYU professors needed to use their “musket fire” against LGBTQ ideology rather than directing “friendly fire” against the church.
Malone University – qualified for the Worst List after an associate professor was forced to resign after telling the administration that she would be getting married to a woman. In an email sent to the student body, the university shares how the professor was in violation of Malone’s religious beliefs and their Community Agreement for Sexual Conduct, which states “sex should be exclusively reserved for the marriage relationship, understood as a legal, lifelong commitment b
etween a husband and wife.”
COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS – filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, arguing that the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, “requires private religious colleges to open up female showers, restrooms, and dorm rooms to biological males who assert a female gender identity.” College of the Ozarks is shamefully mentioned as one of the worst, most dangerous colleges for LGBTQ youth.
LEE UNIVERSITY -is also shamefully mentioned in this year’s Worst List because of a past and recent record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination and because they specifically argued as a part of a 2019 amicus brief in Bostock v. Clayton County to allow employment discrimination against gay and transgender employees of religious institutions. In September of this year, Lee University removed “gender identity” from the campus anti-discrimination policy.
For the full list of the 180 worst, most unsafe campuses for LGBTQ youth in the country, please visit www.campuspride.org/worstlist and find more details about how these campuses intentionally create an unsafe campus environment by openly discriminating against LGBTQ people.
(**this post is solely the opinion of this contributing writer and may not reflect the opinions of other writers, staff or owners of Instinct magazine.)
Sources: Campus Pride