Sunday, 06 November 2011

Calif. Baptist University Expels Transgender Student for "Fraud"

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California Baptist UniversityAnother Baptist college has caught the attention of the media for enforcing its stated lifestyle policy. A man who insists he has lived as a female since he was a toddler was expelled from California Baptist University in Riverside after he checked “female” as his gender on the school’s online application form. The school, which is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, took the action after 24-year-old Domaine Javier, who looks like a woman, appeared on an MTV reality show and confessed that he is biologically male. According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper, letters Javier received from the university explained that he was expelled for “committing or attempting to engage in fraud, or concealing identity,” and for giving false or misleading information during the university’s investigation into the matter.

Javier told the newspaper that he has considered himself female since he was a young child, and felt that he was accurate in identifying himself as a woman. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “They said, ‘On your application form you put ‘female.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s how I see myself.’”

Javier, who was born in the Philippines, said that at 13 he decided to begin dressing and acting like a girl. He was valedictorian of his high school class, was selected homecoming queen at Riverside City College, and said that he had hoped to transfer to California Baptist University to study nursing.

School officials discovered the discrepancy in Javier’s identity after learning that he had appeared in April on an episode of the MTV reality show True Life, entitled “I’m Passing as Someone I’m Not.” According to the Press-Enterprise, the episode “showed a man hitting on Javier while she [sic] danced at Riverside’s Club Sevilla in a low-cut pink and black dress and putting on make-up in the club’s bathroom. Javier said she only revealed her gender identity to family members.” During the show Javier admitted to being male, claiming that he was “a girl trapped in a guy’s body.”

The university, however, took exception to Javier’s “transgender” lifestyle, expelling him in August for violating its conduct code. As reported by Associated Baptist Press, the school’s code of student conduct includes a prohibition of homosexual activity, noting that marriage “is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.”

While California prohibits gender discrimination in such areas as employment, housing, government, and education, private institutions such as California Baptist University are exempt from the law.

Contacted by the Press-Enterprise for comment on the story, university officials said the school “does not comment on student disciplinary matters or other confidential student information.”

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Photo: California Baptist University