Letter to the editor | Asbury University follows the law

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dear editor,

At Issue: Kerry Steinhofer’s editorial “Asbury should reevaluate their reasoning”.

The Jessamine Journal certainly has the right to publish Ms. Steinhofer’s views on Asbury University’s application for a Title IX exemption. However, I take issue with some of the “facts” and insinuations appearing in her editorial.

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Regarding Campus Pride’s list of shame, Ms. Steinhofer asserts that Asbury University was placed on this list due to past known discrimination against LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) students and for applying for a Title IX exemption. Can Ms. Steinhofer substantiate her claim of past known discrimination? Have plaintiffs claiming LGBTQ discrimination won any court cases? Have there even been any court cases? Did Ms. Steinhofer make any attempt to contact the administration of Asbury University about students filing LGBTQ discrimination complaints with the student development office? It’s noteworthy that even Campus Pride made no allegation that Asbury University had discriminated against members of the LGBTQ community. As stated on their website (www.campuspride.org), their sole rationale for including Asbury on the list of shame was its decision to apply for a Title IX exemption.

Contrary to what Campus Pride and Ms. Steinhofer would have us believe, an exemption to Title IX does not grant an institution the right to exercise the blatant type of discrimination described in the editorial. According to the U.S. Department of Education,“Under the Title IX statute and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. § 106.12, Title IX does not apply to an educational institution that is controlled by a religious organization to the extent that application of Title IX would be inconsistent with the religious tenets of the organization.”

Asbury University has no intention or desire to discriminate, expel or ban members of the LGBTQ community from campus, or exempt themselves from “treating people fairly” or “to boot (out)gay people.”

Finally, the editorial, in quoting an article from the university newspaper, indirectly accuses the university of “dodging federal law in the name of Jesus Christ.” How can one accuse the university of dodging a federal law when it follows, to the letter, one of the provisions of that very same law?

— Delmar E. Searls

Retired Asbury mathematics and computer science professor.