A gay tennis player at CalTech University is demanding that the NCAA ban schools with religious exemptions to Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.
Writing at outsports.com, Julia Reisler, a student and tennis player at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), describes her "triggering" when she learned her team, the Division III Beavers, was scheduled to play East Texas Baptist University.
ETBU is a Christian school that supports traditional marriage and has a religious exemption to Title IX.
Reisler wrote, "When I saw this, I was completely appalled. How could a school accepting my tax dollars discriminate against people like me? How was this even legal?
"About a month and a half before the match I presented this to my coach, who talked to the Caltech athletic department. The response was that I should speak with the Title IX Coordinator to learn how to work with people whose opinions are different from my own."
Now there’s a concept - actually having a conversation with people of a different political view or a different faith. Or better yet, just not worrying about your minority status and who you sleep with for the two hours it takes to play tennis.
For Reisler, who describes herself as “a liberal atheist non-straight vegetarian from Plano, Texas,” those were not options. She and her team co-authored and signed a letter asking the athletic department to cancel the match. The athletic department refused, and the team played the match while wearing the rainbow “gay pride” shirts. CalTech won the match 5-4.
The lesson learned, of course is not one of genuine dialogue and tolerance, but of coercion and victimhood.
"Since the match, I’ve been working to make sure LGBTQ athletes in the future don’t have the same experience that I did," Reisler said. "I’d eventually like to see institutions of higher education welcoming to everyone and that those schools that do have anti-LGBTQ policies do not receive federal funding."
And she wasn't done there.
"To push these changes, I believe that schools like Caltech that value inclusiveness should institute policies of not engaging with schools that discriminate.Taking this a step further, I think the NCAA should ban schools with discriminatory policies," she said. "While I believe it’s important to protect the rights of religious people, and that not everyone at discriminating schools supports the policies, these arguments are irrelevant to the issue at hand: These policies harm LGBTQ students and employees."