A law firm that defends religious liberty has filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of college-age Christians who won their discrimination case against the University of Iowa.
After student group Intervarsity Christian Fellowship won a court ruling, Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a court brief with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to defend InterVarsity and its claim the school unfairly targeted religious groups on campus.
University of Iowa, located in Iowa City, is home to approximately 33,000 students.
In the name of “tolerance,” left-wing administrators at the university demanded that Intervarsity allow non-Christians to assume leadership roles in the campus group. When the group refused, the university announced they were no longer welcome on campus – an action that has taken place at other campuses across the country where non-discrimination policies are in effect.
"And what's worse here,” says ADF attorney Michael Ross, “is that the university did this just for religious groups, and so you get fraternities and sororities that are exempted, and political groups, and so on and so forth."
In other words, ADF argues, the University of Iowa accused InterVarsity of discrimination but engaged in religious discrimination itself by targeting religious groups on the campus. A federal court agreed with that claim, in fact, questioning in its ruling "how a reasonable person could have concluded this was acceptable," ADF says, quoting from the court decision.
ADF also says the University of Iowa has directly defied multiple injunctions that prohibited it from singling out religious organizations.
Regarding the future appeals court ruling, Ross says the 8th Circuit decision will have far-reaching ramifications.
"A lot of these chapters all across the country," he warns, "are going to be at risk if these universities can come in and just exclude religious groups with impunity."