Campus Groups Sue to Exclude Gays, Citing Religious Freedom

November 16, 2005

Source: Beliefnet

Wire Service: RNS

On November 16, 2005 Religion News Service reported, "The Christian Legal Society at Arizona State argued that giving gays and non-Christians membership would destroy the group's religious purpose. But the university's nondiscrimination policy forbids such exclusion. So the group sued for an exemption. An out-of-court settlement was reached in September, with Arizona State agreeing to recognize the organization -- as long as it limited membership to all students, heterosexual and homosexual, who uphold its religious values on sexuality. Similar battles are being waged across the country, pitting student groups' constitutional right to religious freedom against public universities' educational interest in teaching inclusiveness... In virtually every instance so far, Christian groups have won the right to restrict membership to those who share their beliefs, to the dismay of gays and lesbians... Many universities fund fraternities, sororities and political clubs that restrict membership, so Christian groups argue that schools cannot refuse to support Christian organizations just because they do the same thing. But universities argue that funding the Christian organizations, knowing the groups discriminate, would make a mockery of nondiscrimination laws and policies."