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Univ. of Ga. to recognize Christian fraternity

By The Associated Press
12.10.06

ATHENS, Ga. — University of Georgia officials said Dec. 7 that a Christian fraternity that filed a federal lawsuit claiming it was unable to register as a student group will be recognized by the school after all.

Attorneys with the Christian Legal Society and Alliance Defense Fund filed the suit Dec. 6 on behalf of Beta Upsilon Chi, which has 16 other chapters around the country but was denied continued recognition by UGA in November because it requires all its members to be Christians.

The suit said university rules, reflecting a policy approved by the Board of Regents, require student organizations to offer “membership and all privileges” to all students without regard to factors such as race, ethnicity, disability or religion.

University spokesman Tom Jackson said UGA would remove the religion clause from the policy to settle the situation and is discussing “an exception to religious discrimination (that) could be put into place much like an exception to gender discrimination is in place for same-sex social fraternities and sororities.”

According to the lawsuit, the university was not consistently applying the nondiscrimination requirement. It said the Baha’i Association requires its officers to be members of the Baha’i faith, and a Christian organization called Crossway Fellowship Christian Ministry is registered.

Attorney Timothy J. Tracey of the Christian Legal Aid Society said he was encouraged by the university’s announcement but said the university needed to institute a long-term solution.

“If they amend their policy, we hope that will solve the problem,” Tracey said.


Related

Federal judge throws out Christian fraternity's lawsuit

Court finds 2004 challenge to University of North Carolina nondiscrimination policy is irrelevant because school revised rule in May 2005. 05.07.06

7th Circuit: Law school should reinstate Christian student group

Christian Legal Society sued Southern Illinois University claiming its free-speech, religious rights were violated when registered status was revoked. 07.11.06

Ill. law school to recognize Christian student group
Settlement comes 10 months after 7th Circuit panel ruled Southern Illinois University should reinstate Christian Legal Society's official status. 05.23.07

Christian fraternity sues Univ. of Fla.
Lawsuit accuses administrators of discriminating against Beta Upsilon Chi by not allowing it to register as on-campus student group. 07.16.07

2nd Circuit: College can refuse to recognize Jewish fraternity
Judges say frequent mixed social gatherings mean group isn't protected by First Amendment in same way as one that strictly limits its activities to single gender. 09.18.07

Univ. of Fla. must recognize Christian fraternity
11th Circuit issues injunction ordering action while Beta Upsilon Chi's discrimination lawsuit against college moves forward. 07.31.08

University doesn't have to recognize Christian group
Federal judge rules that California State campuses' nondiscrimination policy was intended to regulate conduct, not speech or association. 02.09.09

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