The Department of Justice said in a court filing this week that it intends to “vigorously” defend an exemption to Title IX that allows religious colleges to discriminate against LGBTQ+ students, The Washington Post reported.
The filing comes as part of a lawsuit filed against the Department of Education by a group of LGBTQ+ students affiliated with a variety of Christian colleges. The students are seeking a determination that the exemption for religious colleges to Title IX -- the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex and gender -- is unconstitutional.
Some LGBTQ+ advocates were disturbed by the Biden administration’s filing in the case. Other people said the administration had no choice but to defend the law. They also noted the purpose of the Justice Department’s filing, which was to object to requests from religious colleges to intervene in the lawsuit and defend the exemption on the government’s behalf.
Still, the Post noted that the Justice Department amended the document the day after it was first filed, removing the word “vigorously” to describe its planned defense while keeping the descriptor “adequate.” The Biden administration also removed language that said the administration and Christian colleges “share the same ‘ultimate objective’ … namely, to uphold the Religious Exemption as it is currently applied.”