City dismisses professor’s case against Catholic University

Professor John Banzhaf
GW Law professor John Banzhaf claimed that the single-sex dorms at The Catholic University of America violated terms of the D.C. Human Rights Act. Courtesy photo

A law professor’s challenge to same-sex housing policies at The Catholic University of America was tossed out by District officials Wednesday.

John Banzhaf campaigned for five months against alleged discrimination in the local university’s housing policy that assigned students to residence halls by gender.

The D.C. Office of Human Rights issued an order saying Catholic University’s housing assignments do not violate the city’s Human Rights Act, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The order cited in The Post said Banzhaf’s argument would have called for “a prohibition on same-sex bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams, which would lead to absurd results.”

Banzhaf sued the same university in October for alleged religious discrimination, filing a complaint against the institution for not providing Muslim students a location for prayer. The campaign against Catholic University, he said, represented an attempt to provide a voice on issues that he thought would otherwise go unnoticed.

“I think it is important that professors, particularly law professors because we have the legal knowledge, go out and bring cases which might seem controversial, because if we don’t, who else will?” Banzhaf told The Hatchet earlier this month.

The professor has gained a reputation as a legal activist by bringing hundreds of lawsuits to court, including a case against former Vice President Spiro Agnew over alleged bribery and an anti-smoking push to balance cigarette advertisements on television.

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