Freedoms: Part I

I found out through Facebook about a decision my alma mater made that has quite a few people up in arms. Regardless the decision, the air is now thick with accusations and pointed fingers. So I ask: what freedoms do we truly have?

Apparently, Title IX was recently modified to include more individuals. As seen on the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Fast Facts page, the original Title IX was created to support equal opportunities for education activities and programs between the sexes. With regards to funding, this means that women cannot be discriminated against for athletics or areas of math and science, among other things.

However, the U.S. Department of Education recently extended the ban on discrimination for transgendered students, according to this article from motherjones.com. The new terms of Title IX do not allow for transgendered students to be discriminated against–except in cases of religious belief.

Three universities have so far applied for this exemption, as scathingly reported in this article from the Huffington post, and have done so based on religious ethics.

Some of the articles I’ve found on this subject are full of language so abusive of the three universities and of their “judgmental” beliefs, that I’m shocked they exist on the web at all; perhaps we should take a good look at my favorite Freedom, the First Amendment:

AMENDMENT I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Now, I ask again: what freedoms do we truly have? Are we allowed to disagree with others? Are we allowed to choose or vote against an idea or belief because of our religious ethics? Is it constitutional for others to take away this freedom from a specific group?

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