Transgender student sues Baptist college over reality check
Culture | Angela Lu
A transgender student is suing California Baptist University for expelling him in 2011 after he claimed he was a female despite his male anatomy.
Domaine Javier had been accepted into the school’s nursing program for the fall of 2011, but the university retracted the acceptance after he revealed that he was transgender in an episode of MTV’s “True Life.” The university said he was expelled for “committing or attempting to engage in fraud, or concealing of identity.”
This week Javier filed a lawsuit in Riverside, Calif., against the Southern Baptist school, claiming it violated California’s civil rights act and breached its contract. He claims he lost about $500,000 in scholarships and future wages because of the expulsion, since he had to delay his career plan for a year. He had received a $3,500 dean’s academic scholarship from the school.
In the nursing program application, Javier was asked to check either male or female, and he checked female, even though he had been born a male. Javier said he had identified himself as a female since he was a toddler and started presenting himself as a girl at 13. She had attended Catholic schools in the Philippines before immigrating to California ten years ago.
Javier’s lawyer, Paul Southwick, said he did not lie about his gender because he identifies as female. He also claims that Javier did not break the school’s contract because it did not specifically mention transgender students.
California Baptist University allows students who are not Christian, but asks every student to sign a contract pledging to attend weekly chapel services, take courses in biblical studies, and abstain from drugs, alcohol, and “sexual conduct outside of marriage.”
California law does not allow employment, housing, and other businesses to discriminate based on sex or sexual orientation, however private universities are not generally covered. California Baptist University has not responded to requests for comment.
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