A controversial piece of legislation, which would allow groups to pick their religious group leader based on religion in college, has failed.
A House committee split the vote along their party lines, ensuring that the measure would never advance towards becoming a law. The goal for the proposed measure would allow club members in Colorado to elect its religious group leaders based on their faith, without having to face charges against discrimination. Both sides of the argument were heard, the decision was split, and the measure will not be brought up again this year.
The Need For Religious Leadership
The bill that was proposed in Colorado would allow religious college clubs to limit the people who could become leaders of the club to those of the religion that is embraced by the group. However, the bill stipulated that the clubs would still have to reserve membership for anyone who wanted to join the club regardless of their religious affiliation.
The people in support of the bill, especially from the college groups, said that by assuring that the head of a religious organization was actually an adherent to that religion, they could ensure the group would remain unchanged. Their greatest fear would be for someone to get voted into a leadership position who would force the club to go in a direction that is against the general consensus of the religion. The other possibility is that an unchecked election process could result in the school barring the group from meeting because they did not allow the election to occur.
The Need For Inclusiveness
The other side of the argument being presented through this case is that religious beliefs should not be used to exclude other students from the clubs. Their fear is that the pretext of religious beliefs will be used to exclude people based on their sexual orientation as well as people who belong to other religions.
Another point noted is that the college clubs are supported in one way. Since these are all public institutions, the opposition argues that they should not be legally able to discriminate against anyone that wishes to be a member or a leader of the club.
The result of the vote has upheld the fact that college clubs must offer membership and leadership opportunities for all students who choose to become a part of them. There appears to be no future attempts to make the bill a reality again.