A male trans student has been denied access to on-campus housing by an Oregon Christian college.
Jayce Marcus had applied for a dorm room at George Fox University, which segregates students based on gender, but had his application rejected on religious grounds.
According to PQ Monthly, a letter to Marcus from Mark Pothoff, dean of community life, said that he would not be allowed housing based on the school’s “theological and philosophical statement”, and that the school was revising policy to state students could only live with those of the same ‘biological birth sex’.
Representing Marcus, attorney Paul Southwick yesterday filed a complaint with the Department of Education, and argues that the school’s treatment of Marcus violates the Oregon Equality Act.
He said: “The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division recently determined that ‘all students, including transgender students and students who do not conform to sex stereotypes, are protected from sex-based discrimination under Title IX and Title IV.’
“The university violated Jayce’s rights under Title IX because they denied him on-campus housing on the basis of his sex, gender identity and transgender status.”
The university has since met with Marcus to reach a compromise of single, off-campus housing as a ‘one-year exception’, but the student told the magazine that he was still unhappy with the discriminatory policy.
He said: “While I appreciate university administrators meeting with me regarding my housing requests, their ultimate decision makes me feel rejected, misunderstood, and punished for something I cannot change.
It also makes me anxious and nervous about where I’ll be able to live next year — and the year after that — especially if their housing policy based on ‘biological birth sex’ goes into effect.”