A Christian student group located on the University of Iowa campus says it won’t cave to the school’s demands that it open its leadership to LGBT persons.
The group, Business Leaders in Christ, says it has the right as a religious group to require members to affirm a statement of faith. The controversy began in 2016 when the group refused a leadership position to a gay student because he did not affirm its beliefs.
“The University is discriminating against [us] because of our religious beliefs, while allowing other student groups to form around their shared values and beliefs,” Jacob Estell of Business Leaders in Christ [said]. “We have not changed our mind or caved in to the University’s wishes.”
The university stripped the group of its official status, but the group sued and won in court earlier this year. That lawsuit is still pending. The university is wanting to deregister all groups who don’t open their membership and leadership positions to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Anyone is, and always has been, welcome to be a member of BLinC,” Estell told The College Fix. “We only ask that our leaders align with our mission, just like the Republican and Democratic student groups, the pro-life and pro-choice student groups, the fraternities and sororities, and every other group on campus does.”
He added, “What’s the point of student groups if those groups can’t define their own missions and select leaders who will support their goals? That would be meaningless.”
(Michael Foust, “Christian Student Group Refuses University’s LGBT Demands,” ChristianHeadlines Online, August 3, 2018)