A United States District Court judge handed down a decision this week in favor of a group of Christian students that are suing Wayne State University over a policy that requires them to accept non-Christian students as leaders for their Christian student organization.
According to a report by The College Fix, a federal judge has ruled that Christian students at Wayne State University can move forward with their lawsuit against the university over its policy that requires them to allow non-Christian students to hold leadership positions in their Christian group.
The organization, the Wayne State chapter of InterVarsity, was shut down by the public Wayne State University over allegations that the organization’s policies on non-Christian student leaders were discriminatory.
In the fall of 2017, the university revoked the chapter’s official recognition and canceled all of its scheduled meetings. The penalty was imposed upon the group as a punishment for the group’s internal policy that non-Christians could not serve in leadership positions.
United States District Judge Robert H. Cleland published an opinion denying Wayne State University’s motion for summary judgment, arguing that the student organization had sufficiently established that they deserve the chance to argue that their First Amendment rights were violated by the university’s policy.
“Under the First Amendment, ‘the ability of like-minded individuals to associate for the purpose of expressing commonly held views may not be curtailed,'” Cleland wrote in the opinion, citing a First Amendment case from 2012.
Greg Jao, the Director of External Relations at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, said that he is glad the court is allowing the organization to move forward with their lawsuit.
“We’re pleased that the court is allowing our case to go forward,” Jao said. “InterVarsity just wants to continue serving the campus and local community. All religious students should have the right to come together for worship and service according to their religious identity without being targeted for their faith.”
Breitbart News reported in May 2019 that Christian students at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, won a similar lawsuit against their university. The university refused to grant the Christian student organization official university recognition because they refused to comply with a policy that required them to open club leadership positions to non-Christians.
“It would be absurd for the university to require the vegan student group to appoint a meat-lover as its president,” the attorney for the students said at the time. “Thankfully, the university has acknowledged its error and announced a policy that respects students’ rights to free association, no longer forcing Christian students to let atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies in order to become a registered club.”
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