Office for Civil Rights dismisses Title IX complaint against BYU

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(Video by Emma Evans)

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights dismissed a Title IX complaint against BYU that alleged discrimination toward students in same-sex relationships, the university announced on Feb. 10.

BYU anticipated the office would dismiss the complaint because it has repeatedly recognized the university’s religious exemption for Title IX requirements not consistent with the religious tenets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the announcement says.

The Office for Civil Rights officially dismissed the complaint on Feb. 8 in a letter to President Kevin J Worthen.

According to the announcement, the Title IX complaint was filed on March 9, 2020, but BYU was not aware of it until Oct. 21, 2021, when the office gave notice to BYU that the case had been opened.

Worthen wrote to the office on Nov. 19 to affirm religious exemption. He said BYU is “controlled” by the Church and its officers are members of the Board of Trustees. A majority of BYU’s operating budget is derived from appropriations from the Church. Therefore, he said BYU is exempt from any Title IX requirements inconsistent with Church beliefs.

“At BYU, where our religious mission is inextricably bound up in the doctrine of Jesus Christ, we simultaneously stand firm in our religious beliefs and reiterate our love and respect for each member of our campus community,” Worthen wrote in the November letter.

“We also applaud and will continue to support ongoing efforts to find common ground on these important issues as we strive to follow Jesus Christ’s example of love and fairness for all of God’s children.”

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