Christian Group Can Bar Gay Student From Leadership Role, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled the University of Iowa was wrong to penalize a Christian student group after it barred a gay student from a leadership position.

[Judge] Rose found that the university had unevenly applied its human rights policy by allowing other groups to limit membership based on religious views, race, sex and other protected characteristics. “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,” she said.

 

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A federal judge has ruled that the University of Iowa was wrong to strip a Christian student group of its registered status after the organization barred a gay student from a leadership position.

U.S. District Judge Stephanie M. Rose on Wednesday granted a permanent injunction banning the university from rejecting the status of the group, Business Leaders in Christ, The Des Moines Register reported.

Rose found that the university had unevenly applied its human rights policy by allowing other groups to limit membership based on religious views, race, sex and other protected characteristics.

“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,” she said.

Business Leaders in Christ member Jake Estell said the group is happy with the outcome.

“This victory reinforces the commonsense idea that universities can’t target religious groups for being religious,” he said.

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