Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) sent a letter Tuesday to attorney general William Barr and education secretary Betsy DeVos asking that their respective agencies work to cut off federal funding to Yale Law School if it continues discriminating against students who join certain Christian organizations.
Hawley, a Yale Law School alumnus, writes in the letter that his alma mater’s newly-adopted policy of refusing to provide loan repayments and stipends to students who choose to work for certain religious organizations constitutes religious discrimination.
“I request that your Department protect the rights of these students by monitoring closely the changes Yale is making to its policy and by taking all appropriate legal action to strip Yale of federal funding should it—as an institution that is supposed to be neutral about religion—target religious students for special disfavor,” Hawley wrote.
After receiving complaints from Yale’s LGBTQ group about the presence of Alliance Defending Freedom on campus, Yale announced last week that students who work for the conservative, Christian non-profit over the summer will not be eligible to receive stipends like their classmates.
Non-discrimination “based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression is a key component of the Law School’s nondiscrimination policy,” wrote Dean Heather Gerken in a statement announcing the policy.
Yale, in response to overwhelming public pressure from Hawley and other Republican lawmakers, announced last week that they would amend their non-discrimination policy to include a religious exemption. But Hawley dismisses this as policy change as insufficient to protect Christian students, given the administration’s penchant for caving to the demands of student activists.
“Given this background, there is a real risk that whatever definition of “religious organization” Yale promulgates will be unreasonably narrow, giving the false impression that Yale is protecting religious students while it is in reality capitulating to the demands of student protesters who want to target certain religious classmates for special disfavor,” Hawley wrote.