Colorado Christian University seeks exemption from transgender discrimination ban

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DENVER -- The U.S. Department of Education is releasing the names of universities seeking exemptions from a 2014 order that said transgendered students and staff cannot be discriminated against.

Colorado Christian University is on that list.

The department has a new website that highlights all of the letters and correspondence received from universities.

In 2014, Colorado Christian University requested an exemption when it comes to being forced to provide housing, financial aid, recruitment, admissions and more to transgendered students and employees.

In a letter to the Department of Education by President William Armstrong, a former U.S. senator, he quotes university policy that, “Prohibits all of its officers, trustees, employees, and students from engaging in advocating teaching supporting encouraging defending or excusing transvestism and transvestite behavior and or transgenderism and transgender behavior.”

Armstrong added a quote from the student handbook that says, “When a student decides to identify as a gender other than their biological one it is in their and the university’s best interest for them to leave.”

RELATED: Full letter from Armstrong

The university said Armstrong was out of town this week and unavailable for comment. But students defended the letter and the school.

“I feel like the university is trying to live by what the word of God says,” said Katie, a student.

“We are who we are and made by God and that’s who we should be,” said Titan, another student.

But for the transgender community, the letter is another assault.

“It is just religious bullies,” said Chris Scott, who was born a woman but now identifies as a man. “That's not the Christian way because God said you should love your neighbor as you love yourself."

The Department of Education released a statement as to why it released the documents.

“We at the Department of Education vigorously enforce Title IX’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity, in every applicable school. We are committed to protecting every student Congress gave us jurisdiction to protect, to the fullest extent of the law. However, Congress did exempt from Title IX’s protection institutions that are controlled by religious organizations, to the extent that Title IX conflicts with their religious tenets. Due to exceptional public demand for more information on this topic, we are posting documents related to this on our website to provide transparency around this issue.”

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