BYU law school under investigation for possible discrimination

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 23:51:56-05

PROVO, Utah -- An investigation is underway into Brigham Young University’s law school for possible discrimination.

The American Bar Association is looking at the school's standards of expelling gay and former Mormon students.

The honor code at BYU states if a student is of a different faith they can attend the school and later become Mormon. But if a student is Mormon and wants to change their faith they can be expelled.

A group called FreeBYU says it’s time for that to change the policy.

“There's a lot of students currently at BYU who hide their faith changes because they have to if they want to graduate,” said Caleb Chamberlain Founder of FreeBYU and a BYU Alumnus.

“Part of the way through my master’s thesis I was at risk of not being able to graduate because I was undergoing a faith transition,” Chamberlain said, who graduated in electrical engineering.

A year after graduating, Chamberlain took his name off church records and then founded FreeBYU, which pushes for LDS students who lose or change their faith to finish their degree.

“Our goal is to help influence change,” Chamberlain said.

Last December almost 3,000 people signed a petition claiming BYU’s law school violates the American Bar Association's nondiscrimination guidelines by forcing LGBT members and those questioning their faith to hide that or face expulsion.

“If you're at a university you've invested two years or more of education and time there and you want to explore your faith honestly the problem is if you answer the questions in the way you don't agree with you get expelled,” Chamberlain said.

BYU released this statement to FOX13 saying, “The law school received a request for information from the ABA a couple months ago and provided the ABA the information requested we have been accredited by the ABA since 1974 and are confident that we continue to meet ABA standards.”

“It turns out accreditation is not a religious right so if they insist on not obeying the rules that any other accredited institution has to follow should they maintain their accreditation?” Chamberlain questioned.

According to the ABA's website they'll send an investigator to see if the school is compliant then pass the results onto an accrediting committee.