Campus Pride — a national organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups that each year releases its “Best of the Best” list of college campuses with the most inclusive LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices — has this year, for the first time, issued a list of the most anti-LGBTQ campuses across the country.
The “Shame List” enumerates 102 campuses that openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth in policies, programs and campuses, and it includes several schools in Texas: Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, Criswell College in Dallas, East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, University of Dallas in Irving, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton and Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.
Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride’s executive director, said, “Most people are shocked when they learn that there are college campuses still today that openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth, It is an unspoken secret in higher education how they use religion as a tool for cowardice and discrimination.”
The Shame List, Windmeyer said, “uncovers the religion-based bigotry that is harmful and perpetuated against LGBTQ youth on these campuses.”
The Shame List was first published on Dec. 1 last year, highlighting 57 campuses that received or requested Title IX exemptions that would allow them to freely and openly discriminate against LGBTQ people. The schools applied privately for those waivers and often even faculty, staff and students didn’t know administrators were requesting permission to discriminate.
The U.S. Department of Education has since published the letters regarding Title IX exemptions online, and Campus Pride spent the last six months researching public records and compiling a database related to anti-LGBTQ policies, programs and practices. To included on the Shame List, schools had to have applied for a Title IX waiver and/or demonstrated a past history and track record of anti-LGBTQ behavior.
Windmeyer said his organization created and published the list for students and their families have a right to know what to expect from these schools, “and so do the corporations who do business with these campuses — from those who hire and recruit, to vendors who contract food service, sell books and make donations and in any other way provide goods or services to a college or university.”
The Shame List published this week includes the findings of those six months of work, and it will be updated annually.