SB 1146

California Legislature Takes Aim at Christian Colleges

on June 28, 2016

Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
June 28, 2016
Contact: Jeff Walton Office: 202-682-4131 Cell: 202-413-5639 E-mail:

Washington, DC—Christian educational institutions in California will be open to anti-discrimination lawsuits from homosexual and transgender students if a new bill is signed into law.

Senate Bill 1146 is intended to restrict Christian colleges and schools from discriminating on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Schools could face a loss of accreditation status with the state of California resulting in their students’ inability to qualify for state and federal grants and loans.

SB 1146 would narrow the number of California colleges and universities that are able to claim exemptions from federal Title IX anti-discrimination law, applying the exemption only to seminaries and schools of divinity. At least 43 schools have received a Title IX exemption nationally, six of which are in California.

Christian groups including the California-based National Center for Law & Policy, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the California Family Council and the California Family Alliance have lined up against bill, as have Christian Colleges including Biola University.

IRD Evangelical Action Director Chelsen Vicari commented:

“Christian educational institutions should have the freedom to be distinctly Christian by asking students to live in a way consistent with their values. Faith-based institutions in California should not have to compartmentalize their religious beliefs away from the teaching curriculum in the name of political correctness.

“Asking that all students and faculty submit to behavioral standards is not discriminatory on the part of Christian colleges that broadly cater to students of faith. Even so, advocates of SB 1146 have arbitrarily determined Christian institutions like Biola are not religious enough for an exemption.

“One year after the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage, threats to traditional Christian teachings are growing. We can expect more assaults to surface, but pray these challenges encourage Christians’ strengthened public witness for the preservation of religious liberty and spread of the Gospel.”

  1. Comment by Mike Ward on June 28, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Not surprising. Next it will be churches.

  2. Comment by religionprofessor on June 29, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Many Fundamental Christian Institutions have for years enjoyed governmental protection to spread a message of intolerance against those whom they teach violate narrow interpretation of Biblical Literature. Granted, the first colleges and universities in America were established by religious people under the guise of individual religious principles. The most successful of these colleges and universities, many of which are the most respected in the country and hold the esteem of academics around the world, understood years ago that academic integrity is maintained by a free exchange of ideas.

    Not all “Christian” institutions reflect and support a narrow-minded attitude toward a changing, enlightened and far more “Christian” understanding and acceptance of attitudes and lifestyles which have been often viciously condemned by institutions like BIOLA in California, Bob Jones University in South Carolina and Liberty University in Virginia. Administrators of these institutions insist that they provide a well rounded education, help students establish a positive direction for a life in the job market and direct them in healthy ways through religious teachings……. and that is the caveat. The religious teachings are their own brand of narrow fundamental Christian teachings which are patently not representative of all Christians.

    As an academic, I applaud any institutions who wishes, to stick to their guns with regard to the curriculum they provide. If they are able to attract students, provide scholarships and sustain themselves in the face of hateful rhetoric that excludes a wide margin of potential students who may disagree with the religious teachings they insist on, then they have the right and privilege to do so but NOT with the assistance of the Government while enjoying tax exempt status and all other privileges associated with the same. Openly Homosexual students would likely not be admitted to these schools even with superlative academic records. I say likely because the schools mentioned would deny this type of discrimination. The fact is: Students have been dismissed from two of the school listed for being involved in or associated with a homosexual relationships.

    Over the past week Pope Francis lovingly stated that it is time for the church to apologize for marginalizing and persecuting gay people, poor people and others who did not fit the secular and doctrinal standards touted at other times in history. The argument Ms. Vicari presents goes far beyond the definition of marriage or even Christian marriage, and there is a difference in the definition of the two. Fundamentalists insist on ONE definition, theirs, drawn from sketchy passages in Holy Scripture which refer specifically to early Hebrew tradition, which does not coincide with a more liberal and fulfilled Christian interpretation of life, or a manipulation of the text of the Old and New Testaments to suit the needs of these groups and institutions.

    In an Introduction to the Psychology of Religion Class that I have taught for 20 years, one assigned paper has accrued more attention than any other. The topic is based on an apologetic model. One either agrees or disagrees and is required to adequately support the position chosen. ‘Over the past 1800 years, Christianity has done more to divide the community of mankind than to bring it together.’
    Overwhelmingly students have chosen to support this premise and have been able to do so with adept research, detailed examples and thoughtful reflection. This in itself is a reflection of society and the reason churches across the USA and around the world are finding themselves more empty than full. This is a painful reminder for me, a Priest who has dedicated his life to the message of the Gospels, that we have obviously missed something along the way that has alienated a new generation in a way that could cause the decimation of organized religion.

    Institutions like BIOLA are not an indicator of the problem, They are the problem. In their case, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too!”
    The Rev. Dr. E.E. Pollock

  3. Comment by Live2Tell on June 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Remove all your excess verbiage and here’s your post:

    “I hate evangelicals and hope the government goes after them tooth and nail.”

  4. Comment by Philbert McNutt on July 6, 2016 at 8:19 pm


    He should have “HATE FILLED IGNORAMUS” tattooed on his forehead.

  5. Comment by Brian Stock on July 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    If Christian colleges want to discriminate, no problem. And they shouldn’t have a problem with state and federal governments removing their tax breaks, research funding, and the ability to acquire government insured tuition funding for their students. They can enjoy all the “religious freedom” they want but my tax dollars should not go towards supporting religious backed bigotry.

  6. Comment by Philbert McNutt on July 4, 2016 at 7:17 am

    I bet you don’t mind your tax dollars going to back secular bigotry, do you?

    The Planned Parenthoodlums get a half a billion a year to kill black babies at a hugely disproportionate rate. I’m sure you are good with that, because your bigotry is secular, and thus pure.

  7. Comment by muzjlk on July 8, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Oh, please. Your own anti-Christian bigotry is there for all to see.

    We pay taxes too, and they go to support lots of programs we don’t approve of.

    Man up – if you can.

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