SAN DIEGO — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Thursday asked a federal district court to immediately halt unconstitutional “nondiscrimination” policies at two California universities.
The preliminary injunction motion asks that the court order university officials at San Diego State University and California State University, Long Beach, to respect the First Amendment rights of Christian student groups while the case moves forward.
“The right of association applies to all groups on campus,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “All student groups have a right to elect officers and members who share that group’s values or belief system. Yet these universities are requiring Christian student organizations to accept members who disagree with their beliefs and viewpoints, violating these students’ First Amendment rights. It would be highly improper to allow the university to continue violating these students’ rights while they seek justice.”
The case, filed Nov. 28 of last year, is part of ADF’s University Project, a nationwide effort to defend Christian student groups at universities across the nation from the discrimination they often face by campus officials. The universities’ so-called “nondiscrimination” policies force Christian groups to abandon their Christian beliefs as a condition to gain access to the benefits recognized student groups enjoy, including meeting on campus, receiving university funding, and accessing the primary channels for communicating their message on campus.
“University officials would never require that the College Democrats allow pro-Bush Republicans to run their organization,” said Tedesco. “The ultimate impact of this policy will be to either eliminate Christian clubs from campus or dilute them to the point where they are no longer Christian.”
ADF’s clients include local chapters of Every Nation Campus Ministries at San Diego State University and California State University, Long Beach, as well as Alpha Gamma Omega and Alpha Delta Chi, a fraternity and a sorority, respectively, at San Diego State University. Three of the Christian student groups require their members and officers to profess their faith in Jesus Christ, as well as adhere to a biblical code of conduct. The other group applies these requirements to their officers, but requires its members to abide by standards of conduct only. Each group believes that sexual conduct is appropriate only between a man and a woman in a marriage relationship, and thus its members are expected to refrain from engaging in sexual activity outside the bounds of marriage.
ADF is a legal alliance defending America’s first liberty--religious freedom--through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.