Pepperdine Looks Like Another Win For Title IX
Ryan Heisenberg, coach of the Pepperdine University women’s basketball team, believes that lesbians on his team “would cause the team to lose games,” according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. The university was sued for discrimination against women who were forced off the team, losing their scholarships. The courts last week ruled that Title IX covers sexual orientation.
U.S. District Court Judge Dean Pregerson’s ruling appears to be the first time a federal judge has had this opinion as it pertains to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal ban on sex discrimination in education. The Justice Department formally supported the EEOC’s position as to gender identity at the end of 2014. Since then, it has taken that position in a handful of court cases, through the filing of statements of interest or amicus curiae briefs in cases from Texas to Virginia. From Buzzfeed:
Discussing “the line between discrimination based on gender stereotyping and discrimination based on sexual orientation,” Pregerson wrote, “the Court concludes that the distinction is illusory and artificial, and that sexual orientation discrimination is not a category distinct from sex or gender discrimination.”
Explaining his reasoning, Pregerson wrote that “claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation are covered by Title VII and IX” — “not as a category of independent claims separate from sex and gender stereotype,” but instead because “claims of sexual orientation discrimination are gender stereotype or sex discrimination claims.”
What About Pepperdine?
Some would say the players chose to play at a private university meaning the university can make its own rules. Being that Pepperdine is a Christian university, the idea that they’re following Biblical law shouldn’t be surprising.
That’s not entirely correct however. Pepperdine is a member of the NCAA and are bound by their rules when it comes to athletic competition. That means adhering to Title IX.