Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Here Are the Worst Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students in the U.S.

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The national LGBTQ+ nonprofit organization Campus Pride has released its 2021 list of the worst campuses for queer youth in the U.S.

Campus Pride named 180 campuses across the nation as “the absolute worst, most unsafe campuses for LGBTQ youth.” The colleges and universities that made the list have received or have applied for a Title IX religious exemption, which would allow the institutions to discriminate against LGBTQ+ students, or the institutions have a history of anti-LGBTQ+ practices.

Earlier this year, more than 30 LGBTQ+ students and alumni from 29 campuses filed a class-action lawsuit against the federal government over allowing such exemptions for publicly funded schools.

“Campus Pride was founded 20 years ago with a vision of campuses and a society free of anti-LGBTQ prejudice, bigotry, and hate,” said Shane Windmeyer, founder and executive director of Campus Pride, in a press release. “And while much progress has been made since then, clearly there remains a lot more work to do as we develop and train future leaders to create safer, more inclusive communities on campuses.”

Windmeyer added that the 2021 list is the most exhaustive due to the lack of updates in filing documentation since the Trump administration’s Department of Education did not require colleges and universities to apply for exemptions “to openly discriminate against LGBTQ people.”

He said that the Biden administration had yet to clarify if institutions had to apply for a religious exemption or if the Trump administration policy still stands.

Some of the more notable entries in the list this year include Baylor University for its history of discrimination against LGBTQ+ students. Brigham Young University made the list after former university president Jeffrey Holland said professors should use their “musket fire” against LGBTQ+ ideology.

Malone University joined the list after the administration allegedly forced a professor to resign after it found out she was marrying a woman, and Lee University was named on it for removing gender identity from the campus’ antidiscrimination policy.  

Campus Pride’s full list of the worst campuses for LGBTQ+ youth can be found on its website.

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