By Lisa Needham
A federal district court in Iowa ruled last week in favor of a religious student group that openly rejects LGBTQ individuals—a victory in the ongoing conservative battle to give religious organizations license to discriminate in the name of faith.
The case stems from a conservative Christian student group at the University of Iowa that sought to exclude a student who believed he was gay and was struggling with the Bible’s teachings on same-sex relationships. The group behind the lawsuit is the Becket Fund, which also sought to restrict access to birth control, is helming a lawsuit to keep Christian symbols in public parks, and represents adoption agencies that discriminate against LGBTQ people.
The court’s opinion says that the religious student group, Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC), was founded to help “seekers of Christ … keep Christ first in the fast-paced business world.” A member of the group, Marcus Miller, approached the leadership and indicated he was interested in serving on BLinC’s executive board. The group screens its executive officers “to ensure they agree with and can represent the group’s religious beliefs.” After hearing Miller struggled with being gay, the group leadership told him he could only be on the board if he were willing to forgo same-sex relationships. Miller said he was not willing to, and BLinC rejected him for the executive leadership position.
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