SB 1146, introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), seeks to eliminate the current religious exemption in California that fully protects the freedom of California’s faith-based colleges and universities to operate in ways that are consistent with their religious missions and faith tenets. The provisions of the proposed bill represent a dramatic narrowing of religious freedom in California. It would mean faith-based institutions would no longer be able to determine for themselves the scope of their religious convictions as applied in student conduct policies, housing and restroom/locker facilities, and other matters of religious expression and practical campus life. Though the free exercise of religion is guaranteed by both the U.S. and California Constitutions, SB 1146 would make religious institutions like Biola vulnerable to anti-discrimination lawsuits and unprecedented government policing.
This bill, if it became law, would diminish religious liberty in California higher education. It would unfairly harm faith-based institutions and it would weaken the rich educational diversity of our state.
Which Institutions Are Affected? As many as 42 faith-based institutions of higher education in California.
Stopping The Bill Requires Immediate Action
Right now SB 1146 is being heard by the California Assembly’s various committees. It has already passed the California Senate. If approved in committee, the bill will then move to the Assembly for a full vote. The best chance to stop it is before it reaches the Assembly floor for debate and vote. Click here for urgent action steps to take by June 30.