University of Iowa Temporarily Reinstates Religious Student Groups After Intervarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship Files Lawsuit

The University of Iowa has decided to temporarily reinstate several religious student groups after they were kicked off campus for policies that the university deemed discriminatory.

The move comes just one week after InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship, one of nearly 50 student groups derecognized by the university in July even though it had been a recognized student group for decades, filed a lawsuit against the university’s actions.

According to a press release, the InterVarsity group received an agreement this week that allows it and the other groups banned for having selective leadership policies to be re-registered as campus groups until litigation against the university involving these matters are settled.

While much attention on the university’s actions has been put on lawsuits filed by two Christian groups against the university, the school also deregistered Muslim, Mormon and Sikh groups.

The university’s temporary agreement was announced on Monday by Becket, a Washington, D.C.-based religious freedom law firm representing InterVarsity in the litigation.

“This win is a win for everyone — Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs alike,” Becket senior counsel Daniel Blomberg said in a statement. “Everyone loses when state officials pick who leads students in prayer and worship, and everyone wins when religious students can make those decisions for themselves. Here’s hoping the courts make the university’s temporary patch into a permanent fix.”

As previously reported, the issues started last year when the university initially derecognized Business Leaders in Christ over a policy that required its leaders to uphold the group’s statement of faith. After a gay student complained about being denied a leadership position, the university told the group that its policy did not comply with the school’s discrimination policy.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith