(CNSNews.com) – A bill before the California state legislature intended to protect LGBT students from discrimination is in reality “a coercive attempt” by the state to “disempower religious institutions,” said John Jackson, the president of William Jessup University, a Christian university located in Sacramento.
“SB-1146 is actually a blatant attempt by the State of California to discriminate” against faith-based institutions of higher learning, he pointed out.
Last month, CNSNews.com reported that SB-1146 would prevent religious universities that receive state funding from using their religious beliefs about sexuality and gender identity as the basis for certain administrative decisions governing admissions, student housing, employment and other matters.
Under the proposed legislation, they would have to treat all students, faculty and staff according to the gender or sexual preference they identify with or forfeit state funding.
The bill was passed by the state Senate on May 26th on a 26-13 vote. After being approved by the California State Assembly’s Higher Education and Judiciary Committees, it was referred to the Appropriations Committee, where it is scheduled for a hearing on August 3rd.
Jackson joined Greg Baylor, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom(ADF), in a discussion of the proposed bill at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.
ADF contends that the bill “eliminates the right of private, faith-based schools to operate according to the beliefs they stand for in favor of more government-promoted policies.”
"If this bill passes, any Christian college with policies reflecting the biblical reality that marriage is between one man and one woman, or that gender is intrinsically connected to biology, will risk losing state funding," ADF contributing writer Jane Scharl explained.
But Jackson pointed out that individual liberties come from God, not the government.
“We don’t simply operate with permission from the government. We live in a society that was established on the basis of those rights that were granted by our Creator. And by the way, they were granted to all persons of religion,” Jackson said.
He added that discrimination is not the major issue that California state legislators make it out to be. At religious colleges, everyone is treated with “dignity and respect” because “our religious convictions say that each and every human being is created in the image of God, and therefore has value.”
However, Jackson pointed out, many Californians “are embarrassed” that some religious institutions have taken a stance on gender and sexuality.
Nonetheless, there are Christian, Jewish and Islamic universities in the state that believe that “gender matters, that maleness and femaleness are not arbitrary, that it’s not interchangeable, that it’s not inconsequential,” he said.
“In the same way that we receive inalienable rights from our Creator, there are religious institutions who believe that sexuality matters.”
read more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/joe-setyon/christian-university-president-california-trying-disempower-religious