Tufts University: Refusal to Allow Evangelical Christian Club to Require Leaders to Share Group’s Beliefs

Category: Free Speech, Religious Liberty
Schools: Tufts University

Tufts University’s Committee on Student Life voted to remand the charges against the Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF). Without a hearing, in a capricious late-night meeting on April 13, 2000, the Student Judiciary voted officially to “derecognize” TCF, the equivalent of a banishment from the facilities of the Tufts campus. The Tufts evangelicals were punished for taking into account, for purposes of selecting leaders, the beliefs of a member whose views of Scripture and homosexuality were opposed to their own. TCF received pro-bono legal representation from FIRE President David French and a campaign from FIRE that involved writing and petitioning the Tufts administration, which ultimately culminated in national media attention on the charges against TCF. Curtis Chang, affiliate chaplain at Tufts and campus minister for the TCF, was joyful when FIRE contacted him with the news of the committee’s decision. Chang had spent four weeks working passionately to get the facts out to the world and to restore religious liberty at Tufts. Chang hopes embattled evangelical groups around the country will take heart from the victory at Tufts and stand up for religious freedom.

  • Tufts Christian Fellowship Gives Up on Recognition

    March 25, 2013

      Photo: Goddard Chapel – Tufts University Wikimedia Commons FIRE has some lamentable news out of Tufts University, as the Tufts Christian Fellowship has given up its quest for recognition by declining to apply for an exception to the university’s “all-comers”-style student group policy. The existence of the Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF) on campus has actually been threatened since 2000, when, in one of FIRE’s earliest cases, FIRE helped the group maintain its recognition.  The Supreme Court’s misguided decision in 2010’s Christian Legal Society v. Martinez stated that public universities do not violate the First Amendment by requiring all recognized […]

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  • Victory At Tufts; Evangelical Christian Group Regains Recognition

    May 16, 2000

    MEDFORD, MA—In a unanimous vote, the Committee on Student Life, a faculty and student group that reviews campus judiciary decisions, voted last night to remand the charges against the Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF). Thor Halvorssen, Executive Director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which has been active in advising the students and exposing this case, said: “We are delighted and relieved that the TCF does not have to seek shelter in catacombs beneath the Tufts campus. This is a victory for everyone who values genuine pluralism. Tufts has stepped back, for now at least, from the immorality of […]

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