Sacramento, Calif., Aug 8, 2016 / 17:07 pm
Religious students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be most affected by a California bill threatening state-backed student grants to schools that disagree with same-sex marriage and gender ideology.
“The students become the greatest victims in all of this. Students growing up in your youth groups may say ‘we want to go to a school that is going to help us learn our faith while earning a degree.’ This bill would not allow that to happen,” said Prof. Kevin Mannoia, chaplain and pastoral ministry professor at Azusa Pacific University.
The proposed bill S.B. 1146 could have grave financial consequences for these students and their desired schools – and even lead to some schools’ closure.
“They wouldn’t be able to choose these schools because they wouldn’t exist,” Mannoia told CNA Aug. 5.
Azusa Pacific University is an interdenominational Christian university in California.
The state legislature there is considering a bill that could require schools to compromise their religious beliefs or face lawsuits and an end to their state grants under the CalGrant program.
The bill uses language that claims it does not prohibit institutions from various actions, but then immediately says that this purported exemption applies only under certain circumstances.
For example, only if institutions provide housing or restroom accommodations for students “consistent with their gender identity” may they reserve housing or restrooms for either male or female students. Institutions may provide separate housing accommodations for married students or students with children only if these accommodations “includes both married opposite-sex and married same-sex couples.”