A Christian group has launched legal action after it was kicked off campus for its beliefs.
Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) has been deregistered by The University of Iowa for limiting leadership to students who subscribe to its statement of belief.
Lawyers acting for the group say it has been the subject of religious discrimination.
In 2016, the university received a complaint that BLinC had not let a student become a leader in the group because of his openly homosexual lifestyle.
Officials claimed that BLinC had violated the university’s human rights policy and demanded that they amend their statement of belief to comply.
The group refused, saying they had not discriminated, and that the statement simply requires prospective leaders to strive to abide by Christian beliefs “which include avoiding any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman”.
A number of other groups on campus require members to subscribe to certain beliefs, and some actively limit membership.
In September last year, Iowa University told BLinC that it could select leaders who affirm their beliefs, so long as those beliefs were clearly stated.
But when BLinC added a statement of beliefs to its website, the university responded by kicking the group off campus.
Student President of BLinC Jacob Estell said: “Our beliefs weren’t made by us, and they can’t be changed by us either – certainly not just to satisfy Orwellian government rules.”
Eric Baxter, of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the legal group acting for BLinC, accused the university of “premeditated religious discrimination”:
“A state school cannot demand a change to students’ faith any more than the U.S President could demand a change to the Bible.”
The lawsuit against Iowa University includes 20 allegations against it, including that the human rights of BLinC members have been infringed.