Christan Group Wins Religious Discrimination Suit After Being Kicked Off Campus

Last week a judge ruled in favor of InterVarsity, a Christian group on many campuses across the USA, whose vision is ‘to see students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and world-changers developed by courageously proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior, engaging in discipleship around Scripture, and loving people of every ethnicity and culture’. The group was kicked off the University of Iowa’s campus in June of 2018.

Judge Stephanie Rose found that InverVarsity were unfairly discriminated against when they were shut down and kicked off of the Unversity of Iowa’s campus for mandating that those in leadership must be Christians, and is holding some university officials personally liable for damages awarded to the plaintiffs.

The University of Iowa claimed that InterVarsity’s policies violated the school’s Human Rights Policy, which prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex or other characteristics. However Judge Rose wrote in her decision, that UI has and continues to permit similar groups to keep their exclusive rules while maintaining their registered status. For example, fraternities and sororities are explicitly allowed to have gender restrictions under the policy, Rose wrote. A UI official acknowledged in a deposition that ‘lots of groups’ at UI ‘exclude leaders who don’t share their creed.’ as reported by Iowa City Press-Citizen

This is not something new according to Greg Jao, senior assistant to the president at InterVarsity, who stated that about 70 colleges and universities have tried to exclude the group over the years for different reasons. 

More recently Duke University Student Government denied ‘Young Life’ as a school chartered group because of Young Life’s sexuality policy which states“We do not in any way wish to exclude persons who engage in sexual misconduct or who practice a homosexual lifestyle from being recipients of ministry of God’s grace and mercy as expressed in Jesus Christ.

We do, however, believe that such persons are not to serve as staff or volunteers in the mission and work of Young Life.” Young Life is a group that’s mission is Introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.​ We have yet to see what will come of this however it is just another example of a violation of student’s first amendment rights.

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