I love football.
With Mom working at Tigard High School and my family living right across the street for a time when I was young, I grew up going to THS football games. I still cheer on my Tigers and proudly sport my special, exclusive football jacket given to me by Coach.
While I don't watch religiously, I love to see my Seahawks and Niners play on TV. Someday I hope to attend an NFL game in person.
But I've never been excited by college football because I went to George Fox University, a small Christian school in Newberg that hasn't had a football program for decades. (I cheer for Ducks AND Beavers!) I did begin getting excited when GFU announced it was bringing back football - and I definitely planned to attend some games at my alma mater.
GFU recently decided to discriminate against a transgendered student, denying him male housing, despite his legal status as a male. College officials requested and were granted a religious exemption from Title IX laws designed to protect students from sex and gender identity discrimination.
As an alum, as a follower of Christ, as an LGBTQ ally, as a human, I am deeply, deeply saddened by this decision.
I know this is a confusing, complicated issue. I work with transgendered students. I work with transitioning students. I have a transgendered friend. I have friends with transgendered children. It's a very complicated issue.
However, the law says we are not allowed to discriminate because someone is transgendered. And the college I used to be immensely proud of asked the government to give them an exemption - to allow them to discriminate because of religious beliefs. That's B.S. That's a disgrace to the God I serve.
I never had to give blood to prove my gender when I lived in GFU housing. And I was also never asked to drop my pants and prove that I had the appropriate genitalia to match my housing request.
When I introduced myself to my new students yesterday, I hesitated when I told them I graduated from GFU. I used to be so proud, even encouraging my high schoolers to consider the fine institution for their own college choice. Yesterday, I almost didn't tell them, as I fear they will lump me in with those who feel they can discriminate in the name of my religion.
So, I cannot, in good conscience, attend GFU football games and cheer for a school I no longer believe in. I know my little protest is not going to change the school's position. But I can no longer support George Fox University, financially or otherwise.
Click HERE to read or sign the Change.org petition.