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New Title IX Religious Exemption Regulations

November 24, 2020

 

The Department of Education issued a new rule, effective November 23, 2020, that “codifies how an educational institution may demonstrate that it is controlled by a religious organization for purposes of Title IX, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)(3).” This new rule will be codified in the Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 106.12(c), and includes the following non-exhaustive list of factors that an institution may rely upon to demonstrate that it is “controlled by a religious organization” for Title IX purposes:

 

(c) Any of the following shall be sufficient to establish that an educational institution is controlled by a religious organization, as contemplated under subsection (a), and is therefore eligible to assert a religious exemption to the extent application of this part would not be consistent with its religious tenets:

(1)  That the educational institution is a school or department of divinity.

(2)  That the educational institution requires its faculty, students, or employees to be members of, or otherwise engage in religious practices of, or espouse a personal belief in, the religion of the organization by which it claims to be controlled.

(3)  That the educational institution, in its charter or catalog, or other official publication, contains an explicit statement that it is controlled by a religious organization or an organ thereof, or is committed to the doctrines or practices of a particular religion, and the members of its governing body are appointed by the controlling religious organization or an organ thereof, and it receives a significant amount of financial support from the controlling religious organization or an organ thereof.

(4)  That the educational institution has a doctrinal statement or a statement of religious practices, along with a statement that members of the institution community must engage in the religious practices of, or espouse a personal belief in, the religion, its practices, or the doctrinal statement or statement of religious practices.

(5) That the educational institution has a published institutional mission that is approved by the governing body of an educational institution and that includes, refers to, or is predicated upon religious tenets, beliefs, or teachings.

(6)  Other evidence sufficient to establish that an educational institution is controlled by a religious organization, pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 1681(a)(3).

 

Press release

 

Fact sheet