Transgender Student Sues California Baptist University for Reneging on Acceptance Letter after MTV Appearance
A transgender nursing student has filed a lawsuit against California Baptist University after he was expelled from the school in 2011. Domain Javier, 25, was expelled from the Christian School after appearing in an episode of MTV’s ‘True Life’ and revealing that she is biologically male. The university then withdrew the student’s acceptance for the school’s nursing program.
Javier, who came to the U.S.from the Philippines in 2007, is seeking $500,000 in damages and is accusing the school of violating the state anti-discrimination laws and for breach of contract.
Paul Southwick, Javier’s lawyer, said that Javier had not told lies about his gender because he identifies himself as being female. They’ve falsely accused her of fraud and of concealing her identity,” he said. “She was humiliated and forced to delay her education and career.”
He went on to say that “California Baptist University suspended her, excluded her from campus, and expelled her for one reason: she is transgender. […] As a result of the suspension, exclusion, and expulsion, Ms. Javier has suffered economic damages, including loss of the honors scholarships California Baptist University awarded and loss of wages.”
The application that Javier filled in for the nursing program asked her to check a box either male or female, and Javier checked female.
The university allows students that are not Christian but they must sign a contract promising to go to church services every week. They must also not take drugs or alcohol, go to biblical studies and not have physical relations with anyone until they are married.
Under the law of California, it is illegal to discriminate against a person based on s**ual gender or orientation. This rule applies to businesses establishments, employment and schools alike.
Southwick said that the university violated his rights and cannot use its status as a religious academic institution to select potential students, based on the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on gender identity. He said, “She [Javier] followed all of CBU’s rules and did not violate any university policies, so she should be treated like any other student.”
CBU is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and has an estimated enrollment of over 6,000 students and allows for non-Baptists and non-Christians to enroll.