What the Landmark Ruling on Gay Marriage Means for Higher Education

…Christian colleges across the nation — many of which forbid same-sex relationships among students and faculty members — said they faced an uncertain future, with the decision potentially affecting their tax-exempt status, accreditation, student-housing policies, and ability to admit and hire people based on religious convictions.

This month more than 70 educational institutions, including evangelical colleges, sent a letter to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and the House speaker, John Boehner of Ohio, expressing concern about losing their tax-exempt status should the Supreme Court rule that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. Their concern centered on an exchange, during oral arguments in April, between Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., who represented the Obama administration.

In the exchange, Justice Alito asked whether a college would not be entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed same-sex marriage, citing a 1983 Supreme Court decision allowing the Internal Revenue Service to rescind Bob Jones University’s tax-exempt status because it opposed interracial marriage and dating. Mr. Verrilli responded that he wasn’t sure and that “it’s certainly going to be an issue.” <Read more.>

Via Meg Bernhard and Mary Ellen McIntire, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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