The D.C. Office of Human Rights dismissed a complaint Tuesday filed against The Catholic University of America. George Washington University law professor John F. Banzhaf III filed the complaint in response to CUA's announcement in June that they would return to same-gender dorms.
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The dismissal affirms the university's position that it was not in violation of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DCHRA). The OHR order regarding the complaint states that "[a]fter examining the legislative history of the Act ... OHR finds that the Complainant fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted under the Act because same-sex dormitories do not constitute unlawful discrimination."
The order goes on to say that the DCHRA does not forbid colleges and universities from making gender-based distinctions between students. If that were the case, OHR says, it would "include a prohibition on same-sex bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams, which would lead to absurd results."
The OHR based its decision, in large part, on the Title IX law that states that same-sex housing policies on college campuses do not constitute discrimination on the basis of sex.
The university implemented same-sex housing this year as a way to reduce binge drinking and hooking up on campus. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, university president John Garvey cited statistics about drinking by college men and women as some of the reasons for the new policy.
In the article he said, "I would have thought that young women would have a civilizing influence on young men. Yet the causal arrow seems to run the other way. Young women are trying to keep up - and young men are encouraging them (maybe because it facilitates hooking up)."
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SOURCE: Christian Post