Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Domaine Javier Files Discrimination Suit Against Cal Baptist

25 year old trans woman Domaine Javier, who was expelled from California Baptist University in August 2011 after appearing on an episode of MTV's “True Life”and revealing she was trans, has now filed a lawsuit against the Riverside, CA based school.

Javier was enrolled in CBU's nursing program, had been awarded a $3,500 academic scholarship and a $2,000 music scholarship until the show aired and they expelled her, claiming fraud and concealing her identity.  

CBU claims they discovered it in a routine background check, but neither they or their attorney would issue statements commenting on this case..   

Discrimination based on gender identity is barred in California under the state's Unruh Civil Rights Act.  While private institutions like CBU aren't covered under the act, because CBU is open to students of all faiths and offers degrees in secular fields, Javier's attorney Paul Southwick argued that because California Baptist is open to people of all faiths, functions as a business establishment offering services to the general public and primarily offers degrees in secular fields, it is covered under the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

“We’re not talking about a private seminary or Bible college,” he said. “Just because Cal Baptist is a religiously affiliated institution doesn’t give it a right to discriminate.”
Javier's suit that was filed in Riverside County Superior Court on February 25 accuses Cal Baptist of violations of California anti-discrimination laws, breach of contract and asks for $500,000 in damages.

She is now enrolled in the Riverside Community College nursing program

Stay tuned, this case is going to get interesting.  I've always argued that all institutions need to be covered under civil rights laws whether they are secular or religious.   Religious liberty does not give you the right to ignore local, state and federal state and human rights laws or hide behind Scripture to discriminate against people you don't like.

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