This week, the Alliance Defense Fund and the Christian Legal Society filed a lawsuit against the University of Georgia for refusing to recognize a Christian fraternity because the fraternity would require members to share the group’s Christian beliefs. Literally days after the lawsuit was filed, the university agreed to settle it by agreeing to recognize the group and to amend the non-discrimination policy to allow religious student groups to use belief-based criteria for membership.
The denial of freedom of association to student groups is quickly becoming a disturbing trend. In recent years, FIRE has been forced intervene at Tufts University, Louisiana State University, Princeton University, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Rutgers University, and Purdue University to protect students’ associational rights. More recently, student groups at Southern Illinois University and the College of Staten Island have been forced to seek judicial intervention to protect their freedom of association.
Hopefully, federal courts will continue to turn back unconstitutional actions of this type and protect freedom of association on college campuses.