Religious liberty in religious higher education is currently under threat due to reinterpretations of “sex” under Title IX regulatory policy. This paper will explore and analyze the policies of Title IX and illuminate the current regulatory, legislative, and judicial threats to religious higher education. Finally, a current policy solution is offered as well as alternative policy actions. Lawsuits against the Department of Education seeking to remove religious exemptions to Title IX, legislation like the Equality Act, and executive orders from the Biden Administration all pose different threats to religious liberty in America’s schools. Through legal action against religious schools and changes to Title IX, many seek to force religious schools to either recognize sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) protections and violate their religious beliefs or lose federal funding, which makes up a significant portion of many private university budgets. This analysis offers two main policy proposals to reconcile the competing interests of the religious community with the LGBTQ community. The first is through the Fairness for All Act (FFA), which would provide increased protections for both religious universities and the LGBTQ community while providing compromises from both. The second policy alternative is for religious universities to look to current schools which decline all federal funding as models, preparing for the possibility of losing federal funding. The political feasibility of passing the FFA is moderate, while the political feasibility of moving most religious universities off of federal funding is low. Thus, the final policy recommendation is for religious universities and communities to allocate increased resources towards passing the FFA.
"Threats to Religious Higher Ed and the Implications of Title IX Regulation,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 14, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol14/iss1/8