UI students petition Christian legal group for its policy against gays - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI students petition Christian legal group for its policy against gays

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- Dozens of University of Iowa students and faculty are asking for a major school policy change to supports its gay community.

More than 100 University of Iowa College of Law students and faculty signed a letter and sent it Monday to the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG) and University administration demanding that it refrain from giving any school money to the Christian Legal Society (CLS).

CLS is a law student organization.  In their letter to the UISG, Petitioners claim the groups' by-laws and membership requirements violate the UI Human Rights Policy's ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation.  

The petition states: CLS requires members of its executive board to sign pledges promising they will "abstain from all forms of sexual conduct and relations outside the confines of traditional marriage and/or the advocacy thereof." Specifically, they must not engage in "sexual conduct outside of God's design for marriage between one man and one woman, which acts include fornication, adultery, and homosexual conduct."  

The letter goes on to say:  All CLS members are also required to "engage members who are involved [in premarital or homosexual sex]," and failing "evidence of repentance," must treat the "unrepentant member" as "an unbeliever" leading to their "expulsion as a member pursuant to Article 4, Section 6 of the Bylaws an action taken in furtherance of that mandate."  

The University of Iowa's Human Rights Policy prohibits "differences in treatment of persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual." It extends these principles to "internal policies and practices of the University" as well as "policies governing programs of extracurricular life and activities."  

In the letter, petitioners argued that by providing CLS with public university funds, the University of Iowa encourages bigotry and intolerance toward LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.

"The University must immediately cease its practice of funding organizations that violate its Human Rights Policy, and should respond to legal threats from CLS with a strong commitment to combat discrimination in all its forms," the letter said.

Online Producer:  JJ Murray

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