1. What is the basic premise of SB 1146?
SB 1146 prohibits private/religious colleges and universities in California from “discriminating” against LGBT students, faculty, or staff members, even if LGBT lifestyles run contrary to that institution’s religious beliefs.
Students, faculty, or staff who think they have been the object of discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression can sue the institution for discrimination. Because the Bible identifies homosexuality as a sin, it is not difficult to see how Bible-teaching colleges and universities will be accused of discrimination under the new law.
First, SB 1146 will require religious colleges and universities to adopt policies of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in order for students to receive state-funded scholarships under the Cal Grant program. Secondly, SB 1146 will require these institutions to give notice if they have requested an exemption to Title IX. Thirdly, SB 1146 will permit lawsuits against institutions that are perceived to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation regardless of whether they accept the Cal-Grant scholarships.
2. What is the stated rationale behind the bill?
Supporters of the bill contend that this is a civil rights issue. The argument is basically as follows: in the same way that race-based discrimination should have no place in institutions of higher learning, so also discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression should not be tolerated. Institutions in which such discrimination is reportedly found will be subject to punitive litigation.
Supporters of the bill are primarily targeting schools in which students receive federal and state financial aid (such as the Cal-Grant). They argue that such money should not be used to provide assistance to institutions that do not fully comply with anti-discrimination laws (specifically as those laws currently relate to those who identify as LGBT).
By contrast, opponents of SB 1146 contend that this legislation violates the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment—namely, the free exercise of religion—by requiring religious institutions to violate their moral principles in the name of tolerance. As Eric Metaxas points out, the California state government is using anti-discrimination laws as “a license to discriminate” against religious institutions.
California is making government a tool for limiting religious freedoms within their Colleges by the threat of withholding financial aid. I have been saying for a long time that government initiated a law a couple years ago that prevents free exercise, SB1146 is even more evidence that a government run by Progressives is hostile to religious freedoms. The question is this. Is religious beliefs discriminatory when they simply study the Bible in their college class rooms. Sounds like California thinks so.