RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A Riverside County judge was expected Friday to rule on whether California's civil rights statute protects a transgender student who was expelled from California Baptist University.
24-year-old Domaine Javier claims she was expelled by the university in July 2011 because she selected "female" for her gender on the university's application for admission.
Javier was born biologically male, but has identified and presented herself as female since childhood, according to attorneys.
Attorneys say Cal Baptist does not recognize Javier as female and argues the university is not subject to state civil rights statutes because it is a private, religiously affiliated university that provides "a Christ-centered educational experience", according to its website.
Under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, California law prohibits employers, housing and government agencies from discriminating against gender identity, but private universities are not covered by that law, KCAL 9's Jeff Nguyen reported.
Javier - who was featured on an episode of MTV's "True Life" - told Nguyen in 2011 she believes she did nothing wrong.
"They asked for my gender and I see myself as female. I put female in there. If they asked for sex, I probably would have put male. So I didn't commit any fraud or anything. It's just the way I understood the application form."
While Cal Baptist does not have any written policies that explicitly prohibit transgender students, the school does have conservative requirements, which include having applicants sign a form agreeing to not engage in homosexual behavior or live with someone of the opposite sex, Nguyen reported.
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