Riverside, California — A prominent Christian university in California has been sued by a former student who was expelled for concealing their birth gender.
In 2011, Domaine Javier, 25, checked “Catholic” and “female” on California Baptist University’s enrollment application, and was later accepted as a nursing student. However, when Javier appeared later that year on MTV’s True Life television broadcast to discuss transgender issues, he admitted that he had been born as a male.
When officials at the university found out about the episode, they sent Javier a letter, stating that the student had violated school policy by “committing or attempting to engage in fraud or concealing identity.” A few months later, the university expelled Javier.
Now, the student says that the school has violated California law and should pay for the infraction. This week, attorneys for Javier filed a lawsuit against California Baptist University, asserting that officials had infringed California’s anti-discrimination law and is in breach of contract. The suit also seeks $500,000 in damages.
“CBU suspended her, excluded her from campus, and expelled her for one reason: she is transgender,” the complaint states. “As a result of the suspension, exclusion, and expulsion, Ms. Javier has suffered economic damages, including loss of the honors scholarships CBU awarded and loss of wages.”
“I believe that education is for everyone, regardless of their gender,” Javier told reporters in an email this week. “Everyone deserves a shot at a bright future. CBU deprived me of this right and treated me unfairly — something no one deserves.”
The former student denies lying or being fraudulent on the enrollment application. Javier says that he has been identifying himself as a female since he was thirteen.
“I think that there is a lack of discussion within Christian higher education on what to do with transgender persons, because they don’t fit in traditional categories that we can deal with — like you can’t engage in homosexual conduct, or we believe in marriage between a man and a woman only,” attorney Paul Southwick told The Huffington Post. “But in terms of transgender persons who aren’t necessarily engaging in any behavior, there really hasn’t been much of a discussion or a policy, and they really get left in a very uncertain position.”
“Ms. Javier honestly answered the questions contained in the admissions application,” he added to ABC. “CBU is a religiously affiliated university, but it is open to the public and it does not require its students to be Christian.”
California Baptist University is not commenting at this time as it has yet to review the filed complaint.
According to the school’s website, “CBU was founded more than 60 years ago with a mission to train the leaders who would take their knowledge, skills and experiences and use them to open doors for the Good News of Jesus Christ. Today, thousands of CBU graduates are glorifying God as they live out the Great Commission in churches, businesses, schools, hospitals, government agencies and on the mission field worldwide.”
Photo: Aaron Yemen