In a move that LGBT advocates call "extremely hurtful and harmful," officials at BYU-Idaho have received federal approval not to protect transgender students from discrimination at the eastern Idaho campus.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports BYU-Idaho officials cited the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the Rexburg college, as their reason for refusing to protect transgender students from discrimination when it comes to admissions, school activities, housing, counseling and even health services.
A transgender student's claim of discrimination at the BYU-Idaho campus triggered a federal investigation, but college officials quickly sought a religious waiver from extending civil rights protections to transgender students. The Tribune reports the school has had permission since the 1980s to "disregard certain elements [of Title IX protections] on the basis that they are inconsistent with the Mormon faith."
Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride told The Tribune, "In today's society, regardless of your religious values, no one wants to send their kid to a campus that's not a safe, welcoming place for all people."
Meanwhile, college officials insist the school's honor code "prohibits adopting a new gender identity or engaging in same-sex relationships."