A little while back we reported on a story about the Business Leaders in Christ, a Christian group from the University of Iowa who were banned from campus after refusing to provide a leadership role to a gay student.
Well, it looks like the group is getting some good news, as a judge has ruled that the school must reinstate the group.
This is a huge victory for religious liberty and should be a great motivator for people who are persecuted for their faith to stand up and fight, as such action is critical to the protection and preservation of our most basic, fundamental rights.
Campus Reform is reporting:
As previously reported by Campus Reform, the Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) sued the university last year, arguing that the public institution revoked its official status after a student accused the organization of denying him a leadership role because he is “openly gay.”
In its lawsuit, the organization maintained that “the charge was false” and that “BLinC declined the student’s request because he expressly stated that he rejected BLinC’s religious beliefs and would not follow them.”
Judge Stephanie M. Rose sided with the Christian group Tuesday, stating that the school appeared to engage in “selective enforcement” of its non-discrimination policy that was not rigorously applied to other student organizations.
“In light of this selective enforcement, the Court finds BLinC has established the requisite fair chance of prevailing on the merits of its claims under the Free Speech Clause,” the judge wrote. “Because BLinC has established the required likelihood of success on one of its claims, the Court will not address BLinC’s claims under the Religious Clauses.”
The ruling echoed the arguments made by BLinC, which claimed that when the school rendered its decision, it “singled out BLinC’s Christian beliefs about sexual morality, finding that these beliefs, on their face, were discriminatory and impermissible.”
In a press release from Becket, the firm that represented BLinC in court, Senior Counsel Eric Baxter exulted that the judge “agreed that the University has to stop discriminating against BLinC because of its religious beliefs,” saying that “every other group on campus gets to select leaders who embrace their mission,” and now religious groups will no longer be subjected to “second-class treatment.”
The school now officially has 90 days to reinstate the organization.
One of the fundamental pillars of our nation, of any free society, is freedom of religion coupled with freedom of speech.
For this group of students both of these God-given rights were egregiously violated, and they were discriminated against horribly, simply for not agreeing with someone else’s lifestyle.
It’s highly doubtful the group would allow a drug addict to be in a position of leadership, yet no one would call that inequality. Funny how that works.
Still, this is cause for celebration in a day and age where freedom of religion, particularly Christianity is under attack, so let’s hope others are inspired by the fight this group put up against those who wanted to silence them.