Christian Student Group Takes University of Iowa to Court After Being Banned Over Policy Requiring Group Leaders to Sign Statement of Faith

A Christian student group will take the University of Iowa to court over a school policy that mandates that the group must allow leaders who do not conform to their beliefs.

Business Leaders in Christ filed a lawsuit against the university in 2017, claiming that their student group leadership rules unlawfully forced them to compromise their leadership standards.

Oral arguments will be heard in the case of BLinC v. University of Iowa in United States district court in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

The law firm Becket, which is representing BLinC, said in a statement released earlier this week that their client is seeking “permanent protection from the university’s religious discrimination.”

“… the University of Iowa kicked Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) off campus and told it to ‘revise’ its Statement of Faith and submit an ‘acceptable plan’ for selecting leaders if it wanted a place on campus,” stated Becket. “Meanwhile, the university allows several student groups – such as fraternities and sororities, sports clubs, feminist groups, pro-life groups, and advocacy groups – to enforce leader and membership restrictions.”

In December 2017, BLinC filed a federal lawsuit against the University of Iowa, accusing the school of discriminating against them by kicking them off campus for expecting leaders to sign a statement of faith that included avoiding “sexual immorality.”

According to the suit, in 2016 a student complained that he was denied a leadership position because he was “openly gay.” BLinC denied the student’s claim, responding that he was denied over his rejection of their statement of faith.

A university investigation was launched. Lyn Redington, the university’s dean of students, ruled in November 2017 that the group’s revised constitution “does not satisfy the requirements delineated in order for BLinC to remain as a registered student organization in good standing.”

Specifically, Redington argued that the student group’s policy had the “effect of disqualifying certain individuals from leadership positions based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Without registered status, BLinC can’t participate in on-campus recruitment fairs, receive university funding available to student groups or have access to university facilities.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski