U. Iowa Student Group Suing School After Eliminated for Banning Gay Student for Leadership Position

The Business Leaders in Christ group had its registration revoked.

A legal fight is in the works between the University of Iowa and a 10 member strong Business Leaders in Christ group. The latter is a known Christian student group known for its stridently conservative views. The matter concerns the group denying a leadership position to a gay student. The university policy strictly prohibits discrimination centered in sexual orientation. It then revoked Business Leaders in Christ's campus registration. The group filed a case against the university in November after it lost its registration.

The list of activities done by Business Leaders in Christ includes holding a weekly meeting for Bible study. It concentrates its efforts on service projects. The stated aim of the organization is to teach students on how to keep Christ relevant in the world of business. The source of all contention is when Marcus Miller, a gay student, applied to be the vice-president of the group. His application was rejected.

The group, founded in 2015, roundly rejected all claims made by the university. It came into existence in Tippie College of Business. The Business Leaders in the group denied a leadership position to the gay student. The lawsuit states the group did not accept the request made by the student as the latter openly states his rejection of the group's religious beliefs. The student also said that he will not follow the group rules. According to the group, anyone can be a member but its leaders must affirm the group's statement of faith which totally rejects homosexuality. Jacob Estell, student president of the group, said the group cannot change its rules simply to satisfy government regulations. Eric Baxter, the attorney of the group, said that every existing organization has the right to choose leaders who are in tandem with its mission. He made the analogy that a climate change denier cannot be made the head of an environmental group.

The response was quick from the University of Iowa. It underlined the fact that the university respects the right of faculty, staff, and also its students to practice the religion they want. The educational institution pointed out that when any voluntary student organization elects to be a complete registered student organization, it is important for the latter to adhere to all university policies and procedures. The student organization must also follow all federal, state, and local laws. It justified the stricture against Business Leaders in Christ by pointing out that the group violated not only the Human Rights Policy of the university but also the Iowa Civil Rights Act.


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