Debate at George Fox on Transgender Student Housing
- Two legal cases illustrate growing tensions over rights of transgender students at Christian colleges
- George Fox previously won exemption to Title IX so it could discriminate against divorced or unwed parents
- Religious Accommodation Makes Waves
- 2 Christian colleges win Title IX exemptions that give them the right to expel transgender students
- A Room for Jack and Jill
George Fox University, a Christian institution, is being criticized for denying a transgender student's request to live in male student housing, which he says is consistent with his gender identity. A petition attracting support online was written by the student's mother. (The student goes by the name Jayce.) "As Jayce’s mother, I am deeply concerned by George Fox University’s decision. The university has also indicated that it is considering a policy for students, which will require that all housing be based on 'biological birth sex.' In this case, there would be no housing accommodations, at all, that would be allowed for transgender students like my son, to live with their male friends," the petition says.
The university has issued a statement that says that the petition "does not give a complete picture of a complex situation." The statement says that "George Fox strives to be a Christ-centered community and our residential facilities are single gender because of our theological commitments. The student’s request to switch from female-only on-campus housing to male-only on-campus housing is one that many institutions would struggle with. While the university did not grant his request to live on campus with males, the student was not denied on-campus housing. He was offered the option of an on-campus single apartment with a commitment from student life to ensuring he stayed socially connected to the community."