A federal court has ruled that Wayne State University discriminated against a Christian club by kicking it off campus because it required its leaders to be Christians.
Wayne State University in Michigan had barred the Christian group InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from student organization benefits because it required its leaders to be Christian.
"Student groups were permitted to restrict leadership based on sex, gender identity, political partisanship, ideology, creed, ethnicity, and even GPA and physical attractiveness," the court said, adding that the university did not allow religious groups to share similar requirements, meaning that a" small group of Christians, who were denied student organization benefits because they require their Christian leaders to be...Christian."
The court said that the school had violated the First Amendment by attempting to force religious groups to accept leaders "who may be hostile to their religious tenets." The university was sued in 2018 after it tried to deregister the group during a routine club reapplication.
"No religious group can constitutionally be made an outsider, excluded from equal access to public or university life, simply because it insists on religious leaders who believe in its cause," the court said.
🔦 InterVarsity, which hosts Bible studies and community discussions, is open to everyone to attend but requires student leaders to share the group's mission and purpose.