News Related to Higher Education and LGBTQ+ Issues

Breaking News & Features

Recent News Stories Related to LGBTQ+ Issues and Higher Education

Notes: Some articles may link to subscription-only pages of publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education. NMU has an institutional subscription to the Chronicle. Information about accessing this resource can be obtained by contacting the Lydia M. Olson Library

Links are working at the time of posting, but may eventually fail. You might find older articles by contacting the library for help.

News stories dating as far back as January 2020 are included on this list. 

If you would like to suggest inclusion of a news article or have other feedback, please contact Dan Cullen


Adjunct Says He Was Denied a Full-Time Job for Being Gay

January 13, 2021

"Jéaux Rinedahl, an adjunct professor of nursing at Seattle Pacific University, says he was told last year he did not qualify for an open full-time position because he is gay. He says he was encouraged to keep teaching on a part-time basis, however. Seattle Pacific is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church. Rinedahl, a Christian, is now suing the institution."

More on Inside Higher Ed at:


You’ve Got to Give Them Hope

January 8, 2021

"In 1978, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician elected to public office, gave what has come to be known as 'The Hope Speech.'”

More on Inside Higher Ed at:


Gender Equity Groups Urge Biden to Rescind DeVos Title IX Rules

December 11, 2020

"The Biden administration should additionally support key congressional legislation to combat sexual harassment in schools and improve the Department of Education’s collection of data on sex discrimination on campuses, the letter said. The newly staffed department should also address the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that protects LGBTQ people from employment discrimination and issue new Title IX regulations that offer similar protections for LGBTQ students on campus, the letter said."

More on Inside Higher Ed at:


CMU’s LGBTQ+ Services Supports Youth Through Virtual Programming

November 27, 2020

"In a year of curve balls, the northern Michigan LGBT+ community has faced their own set of challenges through the coronavirus pandemic.... Central Michigan University’s LGBTQ Services and Gender Equity Program helps hundreds of queer and transgender students every year, and director Shannon Jolliff-Dettorre has gone above and beyond to reach students virtually while they can’t meet face to face."

More on WWTV TV here


UC's New Gender Pronoun and Lived Name Policy

November 18, 2020

"The University of California has new, systemwide gender identity and name options for UC-issued documents and information systems, it said Tuesday. The university system 'continues to fully embrace diversity in our country,' said President Michael V. Drake, announcing the new policy. John A. Pérez, chair of the UC Board of Regents, said as the state’s third-largest employer, 'UC’s recognition of nonbinary gender identities and lived names supports broader transgender rights, which has been a long time coming for California and the nation.'"

More on Inside Higher Ed at


St. Thomas Stands Behind Gay Professor

November 18, 2020

"The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota is standing by an adjunct professor of theology who is gay after a man with a history of harassment reportedly walked around campus demanding that she be fired. The man also passed out fliers featuring images of the professor, Kelly Wilson, and her children. Wilson told KARE-11 that she got a call from campus security alerting her of the man’s presence last month -- as well as some immediate support from colleagues, students and her dean."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


3 Campus Groups That Especially Need Support: Come what may between now and Inauguration Day, their future may be murky at best and debilitating at worst, warns José Villalba.

November 17, 2020

"The results of the 2020 election will bring little solace and comfort to three particular groups on our campuses: 1) undocumented and international students, 2) members of the LGBTQ+ community, and 3) professional staff members. As college administrators, tenured faculty members and others with certain levels of financial and educational privilege, we must understand that, come what may between now and Inauguration Day, the short-term and long-term future for these individuals is murky at best and debilitating at worst."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


‘The Cost of Inclusion’: Author discusses his book, which says that student activities do not necessarily advance students' interests. White men gain the most, he says.

October 27, 2020

"Q: How does this play out for student groups that are for minority ethnic students, or gay students?

"A: The three main communities involved in this project were diverse extracurricular outlets focused on interests rather than shared socio-demographic characteristics. However, I also conducted 80 interviews with first-year students in order to understand experiences in a broader range of outlets. The findings of those interviews suggest that identity-based communities have potential to reshape students’ experiences with inclusion on campus. For example, in the final chapter of the book, I describe how a small number of students who joined communities for racial and ethnic minority students in tandem with other extracurricular outlets were able to draw on the support of those identity-based communities to navigate marginalizing experiences elsewhere on campus. Having a community of peers who understood the prevalence and impact of racism facilitated some students’ abilities to resist expectations for stereotypical self-presentation. This is a preliminary finding, based on a small number of students who did not conform to the broader patterns described in this book. Nonetheless, this insight joins a growing literature exploring how identity-based organizations might play a role in combating inequality on campus."

More on Inside Higher Ed at:


Milligan Students Call for Commitment Against LGBTQ Discrimination

October 5, 2020

"A group of Milligan University students and alumni have begun a letter campaign asking the administration and trustees to commit the university against discrimination toward LGBTQ community members, WJHL News has reported. The push comes after a gay professor at Milligan was forced to resign or renounce homosexuality."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Learning from 'the situation': Illinois professor uses LGBTQ voices in Beirut to understand daily violence, disruption

September 30, 2020

"Ghassan Moussawi – an ethnographer and a professor of gender and women’s studies and of sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – looks at the daily survival strategies of Beirut’s LGBTQ residents in the face of al-wad in his new book 'Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut.'”

More from Illinois News Bureau at


How to Scale Advising and Counseling: The shortage of advisers and counselors is among our campuses’ weakest links.

September 29, 2020

"Much of the growth of employment in higher ed involves nonfaculty expert professionals: specialists in disabilities, LGBTQ issues and identity-conscious strategies for student success. We might encourage these specialists to offer classes that speak to the special challenges faced by today’s extraordinarily diverse student population, including low-income students, students of color, international students, students with disabilities, LGBT students, religious minority students, student athletes, students with disabilities, homeless students, transfer students, commuter and part-time students, adult learners, and student veterans. We should remember: many of these nonfaculty professionals are our own Ph.D. recipients, who were unable to find a tenure-track job and who have great expertise to share."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Education Department Finalizes Religious Freedom Rule

September 10, 2020

"But Dena Sher, associate vice president of public policy at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the rule will prevent universities from keeping religious student groups from discriminating based on religion, race, sexual orientation and other factors."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Ed Dept. Updates Response to LGBTQ Student Discrimination

September 2, 2020

"The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, published two letters on Aug. 31 that outline how the department will address complaints of discrimination against LGBTQ students with respect to the recent landmark Supreme Court ruling that extended antidiscrimination protections to LGBTQ workers. Student complaints of discrimination based on LGBTQ status are under the jurisdiction of the department, Kimberly Richey, the department’s acting assistant secretary for civil rights, wrote in one of the letters."

More on Inside Higher Ed at

U.S. Department of Education letters are at


LGBTQIA+ Medical Care

August 27, 2020

"Significant health disparities exist among LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and allies/associates) adults and children."

More on Inside Higher Ed at

or AAC&U's Academic Minute page at


Religious Literacy: Survey suggests colleges can do more to equip students to engage with religious diversity. Students from some religious groups find campus more welcoming and supportive than others.

August 24, 2020

"...when asked about where and how they spend their time thinking about different issues, students gave low priority to religion. 'Religion is at the bottom of a list that includes race, international students, LGBT issues, you name it. Religion always comes last,' he said. 'I’m not trying to create a situation where religion competes -- rather, one where we take it seriously. Any course on diversity needs to start to include religion as part of the curriculum.'"

More on Inside Higher Ed at


The University We're Losing

August 24, 2020

"With the new semester looming, a fresh wave of university transitions to online teaching, and the continued onslaught of austerity measures, something has to give. For many institutions, it will be their commitment to diversity. As a result, the university will be whiter, straighter, and less accessible."

More on the Chronicle of Higher Education at


LGBTQ Rights v. Religious Liberties

June 17, 2020

"Advocates for religious colleges say Monday’s Supreme Court decision ruling that employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal under federal law raises unanswered questions and concerns for them."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


‘Far-Reaching Consequences’: U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling extending protections against employment discrimination to LGBTQ people has implications for how colleges define sex and enforce gender equality on campus.

June 16, 2020

"The U.S. Supreme Court's decision cementing LGBTQ workers' protections from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination not only put employers on notice, it also signaled to colleges that they must ensure the fair treatment of transgender students playing campus sports and living in residence halls."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


The Invisible Minority in STEM: Being a transgender scientist and trainee.

June 15, 2020

"Graduate school is never easy, but as I neared the end of my first year, my Ph.D. training was about to get much harder. It wasn’t that the classes or research were any different. I had simply come to recognize the truth about myself: I was nonbinary, a gender identity sometimes falling under the transgender umbrella. Excited to finally express my true self, I came out to my colleagues and began to pursue my transition. Here I will share some lessons from my own experience as a transgender STEM Ph.D. student in an effort to show other transgender and gender-nonconforming students that they are not alone, as well as to demonstrate ways in which school administrators, faculty and mentors can be better allies and promote the success of transgender students."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Covid-19 Sent LGBTQ Students Back to Unsupportive Homes. That Raises the Risk They Won’t Return.

April 24, 2020

"College campuses can be crucial safe havens for students who spend their childhoods in the closet, secretive about their sexual orientation or gender identity because they live and learn in unsupportive places. Most LGBTQ students report that they feel safer and more included in college than they did in high school. They often come out in college once they find a safe environment to explore their identity, but they might continue to hide it from their families.

"Given the crisis at hand, LGBTQ students are among the most vulnerable, and at high risk of dropping out, faculty members and administrators told The Chronicle."

More on the Chronicle of Higher Education at


Brigham Young Walks Back LGBTQ Freedoms

March 5, 2020

"The educational system that oversees Brigham Young University released a “clarifying statement” on March 4 about changes made two weeks ago to the university’s honor code, maintaining that same-sex intimacy remains against the rules."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Study on Mistreatment of Med Students

February 26, 2020

"Medical students are being mistreated by fellow students, faculty members and supervising residents based on their race, gender and sexual orientation, according to a new study by researchers at Yale University."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Jenna Reinbold, Colgate University – Religious Freedom

February 24, 2020

"Americans are confused about religious freedom. Jenna Reinbold, associate professor of religion at Colgate University, examine why this can have implications for our country."

More at AAC&U's Academic Minute at


Cheers and Fears: LGBTQ students at Brigham Young University are cautiously optimistic about a change in policy on displaying their sexual orientation.

February 21, 2020

"Brigham Young University's recent removal of “homosexual behavior” as a prohibited and punishable act under its honor code has caused both celebration and skepticism in the LGBTQ community." 

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Democratic Senators Oppose Religious Freedom Rule

February 20, 2020

"The top Democrat on the Senate’s education committee and 15 other Democratic senators oppose U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s religious freedom rule, saying it would allow more religious institutions to discriminate against gay people and women."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Gender Pronouns Can Be Tricky on Campus. Harvard Is Making Them Stick.

February 19, 2020

"As young people who have grown up with a more expansive concept of gender identity bring those ideas to college classrooms, universities have responded in varying ways, with some professors and schools quickly accommodating a wider range of gender pronouns, and others struggling over whether and how to institute new policies."

More on the New York Times at


Free Speech Reversal: Louisville officials changed their minds about the free speech rights of a student who distributed anti-gay pamphlets at a LGBTQ Studies course. They have banned him from repeating his action.

February 17, 2020

"In a swift reversal of a free speech policy it staunchly defended just a week ago, the University of Louisville has ordered a student who distributed anti-gay literature at a LGBTQ Studies course to have no more contact with the professor of the course or the students enrolled."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


The Next Wave of #MeToo: Momentum is growing to take the movement further.

February 16, 2020

"What became known as the Dear Colleague Letter, issued by the Obama administration in 2011, laid much of the groundwork. It put colleges on notice that the federal government would hold them accountable for properly investigating sexual-misconduct cases and ensuring that campus environments didn’t impede students’ access to education. Institutions were now responsible for their cultures in ways they hadn’t been before."

More on the Chronicle of Higher Education at


When the Culture War Comes to Class: How a course on sexuality at Texas State became a battleground in America’s partisan divide

February 9, 2020

"Many professors, especially those without the protections of tenure, have come to recognize the danger of these situations. All it takes is one irritated or impatient moment — perhaps secretly recorded on a student’s cellphone — to fuel the outrage machine that exists in social-media circles and on conservative outlets like Fox News. Each new controversy feeds the public appetite for stories about misbehaving liberal professors and the narrative, often misleading, that colleges are increasingly unmoored from, and even hostile to, mainstream culture."

More on the Chronicle of Higher Education at


Tying Grant Eligibility to Religious Freedom: Proposed Education Department rule has higher ed lobbyists worried about possible loss of federal grants for public colleges over barring recognition of religious groups with membership restrictions.

February 7, 2020

"Higher education lobbyists are concerned that colleges and universities could be disqualified from getting millions of dollars in federal grants under a draft Trump administration rule, which is aimed at increasing the legal rights of campus religious groups to be able to exclude gay students and others."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Hand-Delivered Hate or Free Speech Exercise? The University of Louisville says administrators' hands are legally tied -- they cannot prevent a student from distributing anti-LGBTQ literature directly to LGBTQ students.

February 7, 2020

"Ashley-Shae Benton, a student at the University of Louisville, was “stunned” to hear about an anti-gay incident that recently occurred on campus. It was not something she expected at a university known for being welcoming of people of all sexual identities."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Free Speech or Threat? An Anti-Gay Pamphlet Roils a Public University

February 6, 2020

"In the wake of anti-gay pamphleteering in an “Introduction to LGBTQ Studies” class, the president of the University of Louisville is seeking to reassure students and faculty members who expressed fear and outrage over its initial handling of the incident."

More on the Chronicle of Higher Education at


Louisville Permits Distribution of Anti-Gay Literature

February 6, 2020

"Students in the LGBTQ community at the University of Louisville said they feel targeted and afraid on campus after a student walked into an Introduction to LGBTQ Studies class and distributed anti-gay pamphlets, reported The Courier Journal, a Kentucky news publication."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


2 Trustees Allegedly Schemed to Sway a Student Election. It’s Been Done Before.

February 6, 2020

"The governing board of the University of North Carolina system will meet on Friday to decide whether to hand out discipline in a bizarre case of alleged interference in a student-government election."

More on the Chronicle of Higher Education at


Northwestern Qatar Event Canceled After Anti-Gay Backlash

February 4, 2020

"Northwestern University canceled a planned event at its Qatar campus involving a Lebanese band whose singer is openly gay after the event became the subject of an anti-gay backlash online, Reuters reported."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Warren's Comments on Choosing Next Secretary Cause Stir

February 4, 2020

"Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren caused a stir during a campaign event in Iowa last week when she appeared to say that she’d move ahead with her choice for education secretary only if approved by a transgender youth she had met. Her point was that she wanted to make sure transgender youths felt safe with whoever she chooses."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Belated Apology for High-Profile Alumna

January 24, 2020

"The president of Goshen College offered "profound apologies" on Wednesday to a now-famous alumna who was denied a volunteer coaching position at the institution 11 years ago because of her sexual orientation."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


In 25 Years, This LGBTQ Campus Leader Has Seen It All

January 12, 2020

"Bauder, who arrived at Bloomington after working as a pastor and in an agency for gay-and-lesbian-support services, spoke with The Chronicle about balancing student support and political activism, helping other universities to start offices for LGBTQ students, and counseling students who are trying to maintain relationships with their families as they come out."

More on the Chronicle of Higher Education at


A Way Out of Impasse Over LGBT Issues? A proposed split in the United Methodist Church could be good news for colleges that struggled with whether to retain their church affiliation following the adoption of anti-LGBT policies.

January 9, 2020

"Leaders of Methodist colleges welcomed a recent proposal to split the United Methodist Church as a possible resolution to conflict over whether to remain affiliated with the church after it moved last year to strengthen prohibitions on the ordination of LGBT individuals and the performance of same-sex marriages."

More on Inside Higher Ed at


Shifting Further Right: The University of Maine's College Republicans chapter's "America First" politics and controversial social media posts have alienated some members and prompted its faculty adviser to quit.

January 7, 2020

"When the University of Maine College Republicans asked Amy Fried to be their faculty adviser, the group knew Fried was a Democrat who writes a progressive column in the Bangor Daily News."

More on Inside Higher Ed at