CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Campus Pride has released its annual Shame List, calling out colleges that have requested Title IX exemptions, allowing them to discriminate against LGBTQ students despite receiving federal funding.
Three North Carolina colleges and five South Carolina colleges have the ignoble honor of making this year’s list of the “absolute worst campuses for LGBTQ youth” in the United States.
Belmont Abbey College (Belmont), Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary (Charlotte) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest) represent North Carolina on the list.
Anderson University (Anderson), Bob Jones University (Greenville), Charleston Southern University (North Charleston), North Greenville University (Tigersville) and Southern Wesleyan University (Central) represent South Carolina.
“Religion-based bigotry is careless and life-threatening,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride. “LGBTQ young people face high rates of harassment and violence, especially our trans youth and LGBTQ youth of color. The schools on this list openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth and many of these schools have requested or received Title IX exemptions for no other purpose than to discriminate, expel and ban LGBTQ youth from campus. It is shameful and wrong.”
LGBTQ students who attend one of the schools on the list are encouraged to reach out to Campus Pride and consider filing a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
“Most people are shocked when they learn that there are college campuses still today that openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth. It is an unspoken secret in higher education, how they use religion as a tool for cowardice and discrimination,” said Windmeyer. “This lists uncovers the religion-based bigotry that is harmful and perpetuated against LGBTQ youth on these campuses.”
There are over 100 schools on the Shame List in total, from all over the country.
“Families and young people deserve to know that this list of schools are the worst for LGBTQ youth. They are not loving, welcoming, safe spaces to live, learn and grow – and nobody wants to go to a college that openly discriminates against anyone,” Windmeyer said.
Windmeyer added that “corporations who do business with these campuses (also deserve to know about this discrimination) – from those who hire and recruit, vendors who contract food service, sell books, make donations and in any other way provides goods or services to a college or university.”
The entire list is available at campuspride.org/shamelist.
Campus Pride also recently released their “Best of the Best” list, highlighting universities that are especially welcoming to LGBTQ students. North Carolina’s Elon University made that list, along with 29 others.
In order to be in the Top 30 listing, institutions were rated based on research on policy, program and practice, conducted by LGBTQ experts in the field of higher education.
The list of colleges determined to be the “Best of the Best” are:
Harvey Mudd College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Indiana University, Bloomington
Montclair State University
Portland State University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick
San Diego State University
Southern Oregon University
The Pennsylvania State University
University of California Los Angeles
University of California, Davis
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Louisville
University of Maine at Machias
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
University of Pennsylvania
University of Vermont
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Washington State University
Students, and prospective students, can also use the Campus Pride Index to check the ranking of their university, or those they are considering attending.
The Campus Pride Index can be found at campusprideindex.org.