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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has sent a letter to Yale Law School voicing his concern that the elite institution is discriminating against Christians.
Cruz is objecting to a recent policy change that impacts whether the school will support positions for law school students who work for employers whose politics do not align with those of Yale.
“Public news reports indicate that Yale Law School has recently adopted a transparently discriminatory policy: namely, that Yale will no longer provide any stipends or loan repayments for students serving in organizations professing traditional Christian views or adhering to traditional sexual ethics,” he said in the letter.
He asked for a response from the school and said if it is not satisfactory, he could refer Yale Law to the Justice Department for an investigation of discrimination.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, Yale amended its policy after LGBTQ groups on campus objected to the law school offering stipends that supported students who worked for organizations the LGBTQ students considered discriminatory.
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“The First Amendment protects both free speech and the Free Exercise of religion. Yale’s new policy does neither,” Cruz said.
Noting that the controversy that led to the policy came from the presence of an Alliance Defending Freedom speaker on campus, Cruz said it had the clear intent “to blacklist Christian organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom and to punish Yale students whose values or religious faith lead them to work there.”
“Cruz’s letter raises the concern that those millions of dollars of assistance could now be unavailable to certain students or graduates based on the religious affiliation of the group for which they might choose to work.” https://t.co/6zBGsXuSON
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 5, 2019
Cruz drew both support and criticism on Twitter.
Small-govt conservative Ted Cruz thinks the government should compel a private university to fund students who want to work for an SPLC-designated hate group that thinks homosexuality should be criminalized and trans people should be forcibly sterilized.https://t.co/ezfY8Z3nIP
— Alexander Fischer (@AMFisch) April 4, 2019
Hooray to Sen. Ted Cruz! Defending religious freedom. https://t.co/sv4vYBI2pz
— Mark Pulliam (@MisruleofLaw) April 5, 2019
Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken issued a public post defending the policy as opposing all discrimination.
“We recently decided that the Law School will require that any employment position it financially supports be open to all of our students. If an employer refuses to hire students because they are Christian, black, veterans, or gay, we will not fund that position,” she wrote.
However, in a March email reported by the Examiner, Gerken made it clear than the school was responding to an LGBTQ group known as the Outlaws, which had pushed for the change to address its concerns about supporting conservative organizations.
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“We appreciate the leadership of Outlaws for raising the issue of applicability of our nondiscrimination policy to student employment opportunities funded by the Law School … We reaffirm our commitment that these (LGBTQ) students, faculty, and staff should not experience discrimination inside or outside of this Law School,” Gerken wrote.
“The Law School cannot prohibit a student from working for an employer who discriminates, but that is not a reason why Yale Law School should bear any obligation to fund that work, particularly if that organization does not give equal employment opportunity to all of our students,” she wrote.
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