Transgender student sues university over on-campus housing denial
An Oregon college student is suing his university for discrimination. Jayce Marcus, who is transgender, is a sophomore at George Fox University in Newberg.
He applied for on-campus housing in one of the school’s male dormitories, but was denied admission.
PQ Monthly, a Portland-based LGBT magazine, obtained a letter from George Fox University’s dean of community life, Mark Pothoff. In the letter, Pothoff explained that the school had denied the student’s request for housing, as it is in the process of revising its housing policy to explicitly state that students must be housed with students of the same assigned birth sex, citing the school’s “theological and philosophical statement.”
After a failed attempt to sort matters out with the school, attorney Paul Southwick, who represents Marcus, filed a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education today, alleging discrimination. The school’s treatment of Marcus may also violate the Oregon Equality Act, which specifically prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
The university offered Marcus a conditional one-year waiver from the school’s off-campus housing regulations. He was originally offered the option of off campus housing with other men provided by the school, on the condition that his potential roommates were briefed on Jayce’s trans history. He also would have to legally change his name and gender on his driver’s license, Social Security card, and birth certificate by June 1.
Because he was born in Tennessee, one of the states that prohibits gender changes on birth certificates, Marcus would not be able to comply with those restrictions. The school agreed to remove that requirement.
He was also offered the option to stay in a single dorm room on campus.
What do you think of the campuses accommodations for Marcus?
Are they even more discriminatory than the denial of admission to the all-male dormitory?
Sound off below!