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Yale Law School Pulls Fellowship Funding for Students Working at Christian Organizations

  • Kayla Koslosky
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2019 Apr 04
  • Comments

Yale Law School has reportedly stripped students completing fellowships with “religious or conservative public interest organizations” of financial aid.

According to Aaron Haviland of the Federalist, after Yale refused to allow conservative Christian law group Alliance Defending Freedom to come to campus to discuss the highly publicized Masterpiece Cakeshop case, they further restricted conservative and religious voices on campus by denying students who work for conservative companies funding during their summer fellowships. 

Haviland wrote, “On March 25, one month after the controversy, Yale Law School announced via email that it was extending its nondiscrimination policy to summer public interest fellowships, postgraduate public interest fellowships, and loan forgiveness for public interest careers.”

He continued noting that “The school will no longer provide financial support for students and graduates who work at organizations that discriminate on the basis of ‘sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.’”

According to Haviland, who is a current law student at Yale Law School, the university took this action after an LGBTQ+ rights group called the Outlaws took issue with Yale’s admissions policy. Reportedly, the group “demanded” Yale Law school “clarify” its admissions policies for conservative students who support Biblical marriage along with other conservative beliefs also held by the ADF and other conservative public interest groups. 

According to CBN News, following this request, the school’s Public Interest Committee unanimously decided not to fund any student working at an organization that they deem to be discriminatory. This includes any organization that upholds the value of biblical marriage and asks the same of its employees.

According to the Federalist, the committee wrote, “The logic of our broader recommendation is that Yale Law School does not and should not support discrimination against its own students, financially or otherwise. Obviously, the Law School cannot prohibit a student from working for an employer who discriminates, but that is not a reason why Yale Law School should bear any obligation to fund that work, particularly if that organization does not give equal employment opportunity to all of our students.”

Haviland notes why he finds this new policy problematic writing, "Without naming ADF, Yale has found a roundabout way to functionally blacklist them and other organizations that do not adhere to Yale's progressive understanding of gender identity."

He continues, "Law students and graduates will still receive funding to work at organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union that defend abortion, for example. But if students and graduates want to work for ADF or other similarly situated religious or conservative organizations, they will get no help."

According to Haviland, Yale Law School is working on creating a “self-certification process for employers” where employers will certify whether their company’s hiring ethics match those of the schools. If an organization does not match the school’s anti-discrimination policy in their hiring process, and a student still wants to work there, then the student will not receive funding from the law school.

Haviland reports that this poses a problem for any student looking to work with the ADF, as the company requires its employees to sign a statement of faith in which they uphold the belief of Biblical marriage.

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