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Oregon’s Corban University Uses Title IX Exemption for Anti-LGBTQ Bigotry

Our work tracking local extremist organizations like the Freedom Foundation/Opt Out Today and the Washington Policy Center brings us to unexpected places. We’ve discovered a small college in Salem, Oregon called Corban University which receives federal aid, your tax dollars, while unabashedly discriminating against the LGBTQ community.

They are a headquarters of hatred and bigotry in the Northwest, with extreme anti-LGBTQ policies and leaders, including some professors that actively promote the highly destructive and abusive practice of “gay conversion therapy.” Some former students have spoken out against the school, stating that they underwent conversion therapy while in attendance at Corban.

A school that actively discriminates against the LGBTQ community and abuses their current students should not receive federal aid. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is an equal rights law that applies to all schools receiving federal funding, stating they cannot discriminate. Corban University (formerly known as Western Baptist College)received an exemption from this law so that they could continue to discriminate against LGBTQ faculty and students as they saw fit while still receiving federal aid.

Send a letter to your Senators and Representatives and ask them to revoke Corban’s Title IX exemption.

Ruthlessly prejudiced against students in the LGBTQ community, Corban University is crystal clear in its student handbook about the kind of fractured college experience its students should expect:

Corban University prohibits same-sex relationships, writing, “Students experiencing same-sex attraction or orientation… are expected to remain celibate [and] refrain from dating.” Additionally, it says, “All dating and sexual relationships should be consistent with those principles that support a faithful heterosexual marriage.”

Corban University prohibits transgender students from identifying with their preferred gender, stating, those who “struggle” with their gender must “continue to identify with their biological sex.”

Corban University’s harassment policy and section on respect for fellow students omits harassment motivated by homophobia or transphobia. Corban University does not include sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes.

Corban University opposes same-sex marriage. In their statement of faith, Corban University states that they believe “God…ordained marriage as a union between one man and one woman.”

But it’s not just their student policies, Corban and its staff have a long history of pushing “gay conversion therapy”, a barbaric and destructive practice:

Corban University offers sexual identity therapy to LGBTQ students. Counseling services offered by Corban University include sexual identity therapy to those who identify within the LGBTQ community.

A professor of psychology and former department head at Corban University is a provider of “gay conversion therapy”: Corey Gilbert, an associate professor of psychology at Corban University and former psychology department head, performed research into “unwanted same-sex attraction.” Gilbert also provides therapy and counseling services to individuals who “experience unwanted same-sex attraction.”

Outside groups and Corban’s very own students have taken notice:

Corban University is featured on the “Shame List” of Campus Pride, an organization dedicated to making campuses more LGBTQ-friendly. “The Shame List identifies the ‘absolute worst campuses for LGBTQ youth’ in the United States. Corban University has qualified for the Shame List because it holds an exemption to Title IX in order to discriminate against its students on the basis of gender identity, marital status, pregnancy or receipt of abortion.” [campuspride.org]

A former Corban student stated he underwent “conversion therapy” on campus. OneCorban.org is a website built for LGBTQ Corban students and alumni to read and submit testimony about their experiences at Corban University. Testimony by a former student alleged that “scriptures [were] read to me regarding homosexuality and the sin I was committing. I was required to sit in that room, shaking and crying until I said out loud that I was struggling with being gay.”  [OneCorban.org]

What you can do to help:

While we in the Northwest celebrate LGBTQ rights and the diversity of our population, Corban University stays mired in hurtful out-of-date bigotry, while benefiting from all of our tax dollars. Please send a letter to your Senators and Representatives to demand that Corban University not be able to benefit from public funds while continuing to promote division and hatred. Together we can close Corban’s Title IX loophole of bigotry and protect our values and the students of Corban University.

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