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Court grants ADF motion to stop UW-Madison from discriminating against student religious club


MADISON, Wis. — A federal judge Thursday ordered University of Wisconsin-Madison officials to stop discriminating against the UW Roman Catholic Foundation while its new lawsuit against the school moves forward.  Alliance Defense Fund attorneys requested the injunction after UW-Madison officials violated the terms of a settlement agreement reached in a previous lawsuit ADF filed on behalf of the Catholic student group.

“University officials should recognize the constitutional rights of Christian students just as they do for all other students,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel David Hacker.  “Unfortunately, University of Wisconsin officials have a long track record of discriminating against Christian students.  In this case, they are going back on their word to RCF that they would end such discrimination.  This order will allow RCF to be treated like any other student group while our lawsuit moves forward.”

In May 2007, the university agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by ADF attorneys after the school refused to recognize RCF and allow it access to student activity funding just like other student groups.  University officials contended that the group was in violation of the school’s “non-discrimination” policy.

On Sept. 10, ADF attorneys filed a new lawsuit against the school after the university failed to honor the terms of the settlement agreement.  In December, ADF attorneys filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, asking for the discrimination against RCF to end while the lawsuit moves forward.

“ADF will continue to keep a vigilant eye on public universities to ensure that they abide by the law when it comes to extending religious student organizations the same rights and privileges that other groups have,” Hacker said.

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is defending religious freedom at America’s public universities. ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.