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University of Iowa

Jewish, Christian Students Unite Against University



Would it make sense for a college’s Democrat club to have a president who supported Trump? What about having a hunter in charge of a vegan club? These are questions attorneys representing Jewish and Christian students are asking after the University of Iowa derecognized a Christian group on campus, according to The College Fix.

The University of Iowa derecognized its Business Leaders in Christ student group because the club wouldn’t let a student who refused to follow its mission statement run for a leadership position. You see, officers of Business Leaders in Christ must avoid “any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman.” A gay student complained that the group was discriminating against him based on his sexual orientation after he refused to follow this rule and was prohibited from running for office.

The university agreed and derecognized the group, stripping it of its school funding. The school said “when a voluntary student organization chooses to become a registered student organization, it must adhere to the mission of the university, the UI’s policies and procedures, and all local, state, and federal laws.”

But first of all, was it even discrimination by sexuality? If a straight student didn’t agree to abstinence before marriage, he or she wouldn’t have been eligible for leadership either. This seems more like discrimination based on lifestyle choice. And it’s also a battle for religious freedom — Business Leaders in Christ is now suing the school with support from the Chabad Jewish Students Association, as well as some other Christian groups.

The University of Iowa’s also got to understand that freedom of association is either all or nothing. State law and the school’s human rights policy also forbid discrimination on the basis of gender, but the school still has women’s volleyball and men’s football teams.

The school’s decision resembles Harvard University’s decision to impose punishments for students who join single-gender groups like frats and sororities. Both actions have dismantled groups that students have found vital to their development as young adults.

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