Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Religious College That Expelled Transgender Student Not Covered By Unruh Act

In Cabading v. California Baptist University, (CA Super. Ct., July 11, 2014), a California trial court held that a private religious college did not violate California's Unruh Civil Rights Act when it expelled Domainlor Javier Cabading, a pre-operative male-to-female transgender person who had been admitted to the school on a merit scholarship. The University claimed Cabading committed fraud by applying for admission as a female. The court held that the private Southern Baptist school is not a "business establishment", and so is not covered by the state anti-discrimination law. However the school's ancillary programs that are open to the public-- its library, counseling center, and retail businesses such as restaurants operating on school property-- are "business establishments" covered by the Act. The court awarded plaintiff $4000 in damages for her exclusion from these programs. The Riverside County Press-Enterprise reports that the school is considering appealing the portion of the decision that went against it. MSNBC and Transgender Workplace Law & Diversity blog also report on the decision.