Monday, January 15, 2018

Like Most Such Suits, the Aggrieved Party Went Looking For A Basis to Sue

The case pits a university policy barring discrimination based on sexual orientation against the religious beliefs of a 10-member group called Business Leaders in Christ. The group sued after the state's flagship university in Iowa City revoked its campus registration in November.
The group says its membership is open to everyone, but that its leaders must affirm a statement of faith that rejects homosexuality. The university says it respects the right of students, faculty and staff to practice the religion of their choice but does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
The group, founded in the spring of 2015 by students at the university's Tippie College of Business, met weekly for Bible study, to conduct service projects and to mentor students on "how to continually keep Christ first in the fast-paced business world." The group's loss of registration as an on-campus student organization means it can no longer reserve campus meeting space, participate in student recruitment fairs, access funds from student activity fees or use university-wide communication services.
A student member of Business Leaders in Christ, Marcus Miller, filed a complaint with the university last February after the group denied his request to serve as its vice president. Miller's request was rejected after he disclosed he was gay.
And why would disclose that except to be rejected?  Unlike the traditional equal housing or employment methods where the discrimination was never directly admitted, this was stated loudly and clearly, along with Miller's orientation.  The goal is clear: a Christ-free university.  Imagine a suit about antii-conservative bias in faculty hiring.

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