The University of Iowa (UIowa) deregistered Christian student groups Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) and the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship/USA because they require leaders to be Christians and to agree with what the Bible teaches about marriage, for example.
After BLinC rejected a homosexual student for a leadership role after he refused to agree on the Bible’s teachings on marriage, he complained.
UIowa claimed that the groups violated the school’s Human Rights Policy.
BLinC and the Intervarsity filed lawsuits against the school. The Obama-appointed Judge Stephanie Rose first ruled that the school violated the U.S. Constitution when it removed BLinC from campus. After this ruling, UIowa sanctioned InterVarsity. Judge Rose said she didn’t understand why, in light of her previous ruling. Siding with Intervarsity, she called the school’s conduct “ludicrous” and “incredibly baffling” and held that UIowa officials would be held personally liable for deregistering InterVarsity.
The Washington Times reported this week that the state has settled both lawsuits and will pay the groups $2 million (emphasis added):
On Nov. 10, U.S. District Judge Stephanie M. Rose ordered the university to pay $1.37 million in legal fees in the Business Leaders in Christ case and nearly $534,000 in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship case. The business group also received $3 in damages from three university officials; Judge Rose awarded $20,000 in damages to the other group.
Asked for comment, university media relations director Anne Bassett said via email: “The University of Iowa is supportive of the religious freedom of our students.”
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