IOWA CITY, Iowa — While calling the matter “a close call,” a federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama has ruled that the University of Iowa “unevenly” enforced its human rights policy when it de-recognized the Christian group Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) for not allowing a student to serve in a leadership position because he refused to adhere to the group’s biblical beliefs as they pertain to sexuality, but permitted other groups to have specific requirements for leaders.
“The court sees no appreciable difference in the potential harms caused by BLinC and those caused by the various RSOs (recognized student organizations) that are permitted to limit leadership or membership based on protected characteristics. Those other groups also hinder diversity and equal access to educational opportunities,” wrote Judge Stephanie Rose on Wednesday.
She noted that other groups were allowed to have certain criteria for their leaders without adverse consequences—even one religious group that supports homosexuality—but BLinC was de-recognized because of the standards it set based on its view that homosexual behavior is sinful. This demonstrates unfair and uneven enforcement, she opined.
“[T]he undisputed evidence shows BLinC was prevented from expressing its viewpoints on protected characteristics while other student groups ‘espousing another viewpoint [were] permitted to do so,’” Rose outlined.
“The university allows Love Works to limit leadership to individuals who share its religious beliefs on homosexuality. But BLinC may not. It allows groups, such as [the women’s singing group] Hawkapellas and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, to limit leadership based on
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