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Texas College Student Faces Antigay Housing Discrimination

UT Student Faces Housing Discrimination for being Gay

Kaj Baker was told she made others feel "uncomfortable" in her dorm, and that she can't have visitors due to her sexual orientation. 

An official at a private dorm at The University of Texas at Austin told student Kaj Baker she couldn't bring her girlfriend to her room because her peers were "uncomfortable" with her sexual orientation.

The discrimination occurred at the Scottish Rite dormitory, an all-girls private facility off-campus. According to Outsmart, Baker had been told by director Mary Mazurek that UT students were "uncomfortable" that she and her girlfriend had been studying in the lounge late, brushing their teeth together, and wearing pajamas at the same time.

Scottish Rite does not let men into the dormitories without being accompanied by a resident, but the contract says nothing about women being allowed inside. Baker believes that this is not an issue of breaking rules or contracts, but instead, an act of discrimination.

In a recording taken by Baker at the meeting, director Mazurek can be clearly heard saying that her sexual orientation has made others uncomfortable.

"We're trying to make sure that everybody, all 315 residents, are comfortable, and sometimes it takes compromise on both sides to do that," Mazurek said.

When Baker responded, "Why are people uncomfortable?," Mazurek made it very clear.

"Because some people are not comfortable with your sexual orientation."

Since that meeting, Baker has not been contacted by Scottish Rite. She has been staying at her girlfriend's apartment.

"It makes it sound like I don't belong there in the dorm," Baker said. "They're saying, '[Your girlfriend] is gay. She doesn't belong there, so we're not going to let her in the dorm.' Well, I'm gay too. Do I not belong there?"

It's unclear if Baker intends to file a formal complaint.

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