Judge Declares Some Rights Untouchable, Others Not So Much
A student-run Christian organization at the University of Iowa can exclude LGBTQ people from positions of authority thanks to a federal judge, reports LGBTQ Nation.
In 2017, a gay student filed a complaint against the club, called Business Leaders in Christ, after they said that they can join the group but had to recognize that "every other sexual relationship beyond this is outside of God’s design and is not in keeping with God’s original plan for humanity.” The club lost its Registered Student Organization status.
The members of the club filed a lawsuit because they feel that losing their ROS status violates their first amendment religious right to... discriminate against gay people?
In the University of Iowa, all clubs must follow its Human Rights Policy, which bans discrimination on many different factors including sexual orientation. Judge Stephanie Rose on February 6th ruled in favor of Business Leaders in Christ, stating that the University inconsistently applied its Human Rights Policy, saying that certain clubs such as a group for black LGBTQ were allowed to restrict access to minority groups.
The university claims that the reason why such groups remain active due to "administrative oversight" and that others remain because they provide a safe space for oppressed minorities. Rose argued that "When free speech is involved, the uneven application of any policy risks the most exacting standard of judicial scrutiny, which Defendants have failed to withstand.”
I attended a Catholic college (they gave me the most scholarship money) that had a GSA but removed it due to the school staff's religious beliefs. Now, is it fair that the rights of religious groups seem to dominate over the rights of others? Personally, I don't think so but many people disagree.
h/t: LGBTQ Nation