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Indiana University President Attacks State's 'License To Discriminate' Law: VIDEO

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Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has issued a statement attacking the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was recently signed into law in Indiana, reports Indiana University Newsroom.

McRobbie’s statement reads in part:

"The recent passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act has brought significant negative attention to the state of Indiana throughout the nation and indeed the world, because the law is widely viewed as signaling an unwelcoming and discriminatory atmosphere in our state.

20120919-223190-college-tours-where-to-eat-near-indiana-university-logo"For its part, Indiana University remains steadfast in our longstanding commitment to value and respect the benefits of a diverse society. It is a fundamental core value of our culture at Indiana University and one that we cherish.

"To that end, Indiana University will recruit, hire, promote, educate and provide services to persons without regard to their age, race, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. Equally importantly, we will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of any of these same factors.

"These are not merely words written in a policy and soon forgotten. These are core values by which every member of the Indiana University community is expected to treat his or her fellow colleagues, students and visitors.

"I want to reassure the entire Indiana University community, including our students, faculty, staff and alumni, that each and every one of you is welcome and appreciated for the unique qualities that you bring to our community. We are all better as a result of our shared experiences, as different as those experiences in life may have been."

At a press conference yesterday, Indiana's GOP leaders attempted to calm the growing backlash against the law. Subaru of America, which has a major automotive plant in Indiana, issued a statement condemning the law while Stephen King attacked it as “dog turd.”

Watch Chris Cuomo rip into hate group Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg over the Indiana law, AFTER THE JUMP

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Justice Dept. Sues University For Firing Professor Who Transitioned

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The Justice Department has announced the filing of a lawsuit against Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) and the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) for discriminating against a transgender employee.

The lawsuit claims that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, SOSU and RUSO discriminated against the transgender employee on the basis of her sex and retaliated against her when she complained.

Attorney General Eric Holder (above) announced last year that the Department of Justice will extend Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination protection to claims based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status.

2000px-Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice.svgAccording to the complaint, Rachel Tudor began working at SOSU as an associate professor in 2004. At this time, Tudor identified as a man. In 2007, she began to present as a woman. However, in 2009 the university  denied an application for a tenured promotion and overruled the recommendations of her department chair and other tenured faculty from her department.  

The following year, Tudor filed complaints regarding the denial of her application. Shortly after it learned of her complaints, SOSU refused to let Tudor re-apply for promotion and tenure despite the college’s policies permitting re-application.  At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, SOSU and RUSO terminated Tudor’s employment because she had not obtained tenure.

On the announcement of the lawsuit, Holder said:

“By standing beside Dr. Tudor, the Department of Justice sends a clear message that we are committed to eliminating discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity.

We will not allow unfair biases and unjust prejudices to prevent transgender Americans from reaching their full potential as workers and as citizens.  And we will continue to work tirelessly, using every legal tool available, to ensure that transgender individuals are guaranteed the rights and protections that all Americans deserve.”

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Jenny R. Yang added:

“This is a tremendous example of how collaboration between EEOC and the Department of Justice leads to strong and coordinated enforcement of Title VII. This case furthers the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan, which includes coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII's sex discrimination provisions as a national enforcement priority.”


Ex-BYU Student Says He Was Evicted From Apartment After Landlord Found Out He Was Gay: VIDEO

A former student at Brigham Young University (BYU) has sued Provo apartment complex The Village after claiming he was evicted when his landlord found out he was gay, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

Large-entrance-sign-provo-apartmentsOn January 23rd, Andrew White was served an eviction notice by complex managers, ten days after a disagreement with his three male roommates escalated from gay slurs into physical violence.

A copy of the eviction notice alleges White had violated lease policies, including residential living standards, the "quiet enjoyment of others” and BYU's honor code. Details of the alleged violations were not provided in the notice.

However, in seeking more than $101,000 in damages, White argued he was wrongly evicted and said the apartment manager caused him emotional distress by disclosing information which had in the past "led directly to an assault on him and a loss of living quarters."

White says that when he refused to leave the apartment, the roommates entered his room, dragged him out of bed and began removing his personal belongings. The unnamed roommates are also alleged to have again threatened White with physical violence.

The suit was settled yesterday for an undisclosed sum. As part of the settlement, White said the lawsuit was a tenant dispute and not meant to imply discrimination by apartment management.

Watch a BYU Understanding Same-Gender Attraction "It Gets Better" video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier this month, Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed a bill adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's nondiscrimination laws in housing and employment. 

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Texas Fraternity Under Fire for Allegedly Banning 'Fagetry', Mexicans And Interracial Dating: VIDEO

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A fraternity at the University of Texas (UT) has been accused of banning “interracial dating”, Mexicans and “fagetry”, reports NCRM.

Posted in 2007 on Flickr and earlier this week on Twitter, the Phi Gamma Delta document sets out a number of rules for pledges. It is assumed that “fagetry” refers to homosexuality.

Phi Gamma Delta last month held a racist party where the theme was reportedly "Border Patrol."

Despite originally indicating the racist party did not violate its rules, UT President Bill Powers released a statement on Tuesday that read, in part:

"Our dean of students has worked extensively with the [the fraternity] group to educate its members on the harm it has caused and to reconcile it to the greater community. The [members] have apologized, have been fully engaged with the dean of students’ efforts, and have reached out to Latino groups."

Powers also suggested that the rules photo may be a hoax:

"Additionally, a photo of alleged [fraternity] pledge rules has surfaced online. This ugly document appeared in 2007 and was largely believed to be a hoax even then."

Last year, the UT Austin chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon was suspended following reports that a student had been denied a bid due to his sexual orientation.

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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One In Five British Gay Teens Bullied In School By Teachers Or Other Adults: VIDEO

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb08035fb8970d-800wiNew research shows that one in five gay or bisexual teens in Britain have been subjected to homophobic bullying at the hands of teachers or other adults at school, reports the Independent.

The “Boys Who Like Boys” report produced by the National AIDS Trust (NAT) questioned more than 1,000 gay or bisexual males between the ages of 14 and 19 about their experience of sex and relationship education in school.

While 55 percent of respondents said they had experienced bullying and discrimination due to their sexual orientation, 39 percent of that segment said a teacher or another adult at school had been responsible for the bullying.

The survey also suggests that poor sex education lessons are driving a rise in the number of young gay men contracting HIV.

Deborah Gold, the chief executive of the NAT, said:

“It’s an incredibly high number. The idea that teachers or other adults at school are sometimes responsible for bullying and discrimination is utterly unacceptable. It’s definitely an area I’d want to know more about. It’s a worryingly high enough statistic that you’d want to find out how that is impacting on young people.”

Gold added:

“The majority of the people that filled in this survey are leaving education not knowing how to protect themselves from HIV is shocking. The number of young men who have sex with men who are contracting HIV is increasing. I think there’s an absolute link between the lack of this education at a time when people need it and the consequences of that.”

Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt said the findings are “a sad but accurate representation of the situation that many young gay men face growing up in Britain today”.

Watch an Educational Action Challenging Homophobia video used as a teaching resource in the UK, AFTER THE JUMP...

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All-women's Wellesley College to Accept Transgender Students for the First Time

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Boston's historic all-women's liberal arts Wellesley College has announced it will begin accepting transgender women as students, The Boston Globe reports:

The liberal arts college west of Boston will for the first time consider for admission any applicant who “lives as a woman and consistently identifies as a woman,” according a letter it sent to the school community.

The policy is expected to take effect for the next admission cycle, for the class of 2020. Individuals assigned female at birth who identify as neither male nor female are also eligible for admission, the school said.

“We will support all the students who are at Wellesley and all of their kinds of finding themselves in all of the ways that we can,” college president H. Kim Bottomly said in an interview.

The new policy, approved Wednesday by Wellesley’s Board of Trustees, comes after Bottomly formed a committee last fall to study educational, social, legal, and medical considerations about gender identity, according to the college.

Applicants who identify as men are not eligible for admission. Students who come to no longer identify as women during their time at Wellesley will still be allowed to graduate, provided academic standards are met, the school said. The college will also assist students who wish to transfer out of Wellesley because they no longer identify as women, according to the letter.

 


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