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Judge Sides With University Group Banning Gay Student From Leadership

Rachel Kiley

A judge has decided a Christian club at the University of Iowa is within its rights to deny leadership positions to LGBTQ students.

Business Leaders in Christ had previously barred a student from holding a leadership position in the group after they found out he was gay.

Specifically, the group requires all leaders to sign a statement of faith, part of which acknowledges that they believe homosexuality is wrong.

The University of Iowa responded by revoking BLinC’s registration in November 2017, taking away their ability to utilize various monetary and practical aspects of the university that other groups are privy to.

The group quickly brought a lawsuit against the school, and U.S. District Judge Stephanie M. Rose ruled on their side, resulting in the reinstatement of their registration.

“The Constitution does not tolerate the way defendants chose to enforce the human rights policy,” she 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.”

Rose was referring to the fact that the university had allowed other groups (such as fraternal sports groups) to limit membership based on “protected characteristics” such as gender and religion.

BLinC, meanwhile, claims they didn’t reject the student in question for “being gay,” but rather for actively pursuing relationships with other men, leaning on the religious viewpoint that you can be gay, but you can also be righteously celibate for Christ.

The University of Iowa plans to follow the court’s orders.

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