CUA president pleased ruling confirms legality of single-sex dorms
Published: December 1, 2011
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America, said he was "gratified" by the dismissal of a complaint filed against the university saying its single-sex dorms discriminated against women. "We were confident from the beginning that our actions were entirely legal," Garvey said in a statement. The Nov. 29 order by the District of Columbia's Office of Human Rights said offering only single-sex dormitories is not unlawful discrimination under the city's Human Rights Act. It noted that if colleges were to comply with the complaint's reasoning, it would cause "a prohibition on same-sex bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams, which would lead to absurd results." The complaint was filed by John Banzhaf, a public-interest law professor at George Washington University, also in Washington. Banzhaf filed another complaint in October against Catholic University, saying the school discriminated against Muslim students by failing to provide prayer rooms free of Catholic symbols. The complaint is still pending before the Human Rights Office. In an Oct. 28 statement to parents, students and faculty members, Garvey called that complaint a "manufactured controversy." The order dismissing the complaint against single-sex dorms pointed out that Banzhaf only provided "conjecture and speculation" instead of facts about how single-sex dorms might negatively affect women. It also said Banzhaf "has not demonstrated that women would not have equivalent access to educational opportunities or be subject to any material harm."
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