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Have Christian Colleges and Universities Become More Inclusive of LGBTQ Students Since Obergefell v. Hodges?

Department of Sociology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
Religions 2020, 11(9), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090461
Received: 30 July 2020 / Revised: 26 August 2020 / Accepted: 7 September 2020 / Published: 9 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
Due to rapid changes in societal attitudes toward LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) people, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, Christian colleges and universities are experiencing more pressure to become inclusive of LGBTQ students. This article draws on U.S. Department of Education data on all four-year, not-for-profit Christian colleges and universities, as well as an original longitudinal dataset of LGBTQ student groups across Christian colleges and universities, to describe the landscape of LGBTQ student inclusion on Christian campuses before and after Obergefell v. Hodges. In 2013, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, just under half (45%) of Christian colleges and universities had LGBTQ student groups. However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision has evidently had little effect on holdouts: in 2019, the percentage of Christian colleges and universities that were home to LGBTQ student groups was only slightly higher (47%). Logistic regression analyses reveal that Christian colleges and universities that have recently become home to LGBTQ student groups were already predisposed to having LGBTQ groups in the first place, given that they are associated with social justice-minded denominations, have large student bodies, and have higher percentages of women students. The article’s findings hold implications for ongoing research on the status of LGBTQ people within Christian institutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: sociology of religion; Christian colleges and universities; higher education; LGBTQ students; LGBTQ activism; religious freedom; Christianity; Obergefell v. Hodges sociology of religion; Christian colleges and universities; higher education; LGBTQ students; LGBTQ activism; religious freedom; Christianity; Obergefell v. Hodges
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MDPI and ACS Style

Coley, J.S. Have Christian Colleges and Universities Become More Inclusive of LGBTQ Students Since Obergefell v. Hodges? Religions 2020, 11, 461. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090461

AMA Style

Coley JS. Have Christian Colleges and Universities Become More Inclusive of LGBTQ Students Since Obergefell v. Hodges? Religions. 2020; 11(9):461. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090461

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coley, Jonathan S. 2020. "Have Christian Colleges and Universities Become More Inclusive of LGBTQ Students Since Obergefell v. Hodges?" Religions 11, no. 9: 461. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090461

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