“would also forbid them from restricting student expression to so-called “free speech zones”
Faith based groups often face undue scrutiny on college campuses, so this is a good thing.
Campus Reform reports:
Iowa bill aims to protect belief-based student groups
A bill recently introduced in the Iowa legislature would make it illegal to revoke the privileges of belief-based student organizations that maintain religious requirements for leadership positions.
Senator Amy Sinclair introduced SB 3210, which in addition to requiring Iowa’s public colleges and universities to respect the rights of belief-based student organizations, would also forbid them from restricting student expression to so-called “free speech zones.”
As previously reported by Campus Reform, a University of Iowa student group called Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) had its status revoked after a student accused the group of unfairly denying him a leadership position because he is “openly gay,” though BLinC maintains that the student was rejected because he refused to endorse the group’s “Statement of Faith.” A judge subsequently sided with the student group, ordering the university to restore its status.
If passed, the bill would require all Iowa institutions of higher education to formally recognize student organizations that have religious requirements for leadership positions.
Schools that do fail to recognize belief-based organizations are subject to legal action, allowing students organizations to “seek appropriate relief, including but not limited to injunctive relief, monetary damages, reasonable attorney fees, and court costs.”
Under Sinclair’s proposed legislation, all outdoor areas of Iowa’s public colleges and universities would also be designated “traditional public forums,” thus eliminating the possibility of confining expressive activity to a “free speech zone.”
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