ANSWERED PRAYER: COURT RULES UNIVERSITY CAN’T KEEP STUDENT GROUP FROM REQUIRING LEADERS TO FOLLOW RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
February 12, 2019 | Ian Richardson
Thank you Lord, for this judicial decision, reflecting biblical values and the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. Pray for our colleges and college students–the Collegiate Day of Prayer is February 28, 2019.
And the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is judge. (Ps 50:6)
A federal court on Wednesday ruled that the University of Iowa can’t strip a Christian group of its status as a registered student organization based on its requirement that leaders follow its statement of faith, which includes not having sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
Judge Stephanie M. Rose of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa granted a permanent injunction that will keep the University of Iowa from rejecting the status of Business Leaders in Christ based on the university’s human rights policy, which the university had cited in its revocation of the Christian group’s status.
Rose’s decision said the university unevenly applies the policy and still allows other groups to limit access to leadership or membership based on their religious views, race, sex and other protected characteristics.
“The Constitution does not tolerate the way defendants chose to enforce the human rights policy,” the decision said. “Particularly when free speech is involved, the uneven application of any policy risks the most exacting standard of judicial scrutiny, which the defendants have failed to withstand.” …
“This victory reinforces the commonsense idea that universities can’t target religious groups for being religious,” he said.
The University of Iowa said in a short statement that it intends to abide by the decision….
The student group said it didn’t discriminate because of the student’s sexual orientation, but because leaders must abide by a “statement of faith” that prohibits sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. The group is open to members of any sexual orientation, they said.
The university later revoked the group’s status as a registered student organization, which kept the group from participating in some UI events, using resources and getting funding. (Excerpts from Ian Richardson article in Des Moines Register)