Former Cal Baptist student Domaine Javier is suing the university for damages caused by her expulsion in August 2011. Javier, a transgender woman, says she was expelled because of her gender identity -- Cal Baptist found out she was born male after she appeared on an episode of MTV’s “True Life.”
Javier has identified as female since early childhood, and identified herself as female on her application and administrative information at Cal Baptist. The university claims that she was expelled for “fraud, or concealing identity.” California law prohibits discrimination against an individual because of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, and the suit against Cal Baptist argues that the school violated state law and is in breach of contract. University lawyer Theodore Stream refused to comment on the claim, which seeks $500,000 in damages, because he hasn’t seen it yet.
Should using a gender identity that does not match one’s biological sex be considered fraudulent? Should Cal Baptist have the right to expel students who use their preferred gender identity on official school documents? What kinds of laws should protect gender non-conforming students from discrimination?
Mara Keisling, Executive Director of National Center for Transgender Equality
Steve Crampton, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel