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Old 03-02-2005, 01:02 PM   #1
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Fraternity Sues To Keep Out Gays

Fraternity Sues To Keep Out Gays

Posted: March 1, 2005 9:01 pm. ET

(Chapel Hill, North Carolina) A conservative Christian fraternity is suing University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill over the school's gay inclusion policy.

Alpha Iota Omega's status as an official campus group was revoked after it refused to sign the university's nondiscrimination policy.
The policy specifies that groups cannot deny membership to students based on personal characteristics such as age, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation and gender.

The fraternity says it shouldn't be forced to admit nonbelievers or gay students. It claims the university has infringed on its members' rights to free speech, free association and free exercise of religion.

Alpha Iota Omega has only three members. But, they hired a lawyer and launched their lawsuit. The three members will not say who is paying the legal fees.

An attempt at mediation between the university and the students failed on Monday - setting the course for the case to go to trial.

The suit comes as students at the university demonstrated Tuesday evening to show support for a gay student who was taunted and beaten.

The student was attacked by a gang of six or seven men last Friday as he walked along a street. Police have labeled the beating a hate crime. The victim suffered broken bones but wasn't hospitalized.
The suit is the latest in a series of legal actions by conservative students against universities which have gay civil rights protections.

In California a Christian group is suing the University of California's Hastings College of the Law in federal court for not recognizing it as an official campus organization. (story)

The Christian Legal Society says it should get campus funding and other benefits, but does not have to open its membership to gays, lesbians and nonbelievers - all requirements of the San Francisco law school.

Ohio State University is also facing a suit by the CLS after the college refused to recognize the groups when it barred gays from joining. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005





so what do y'all think? i'm actually a bit torn -- i'm a big fan of freedom of association, and i think fraternities (and private organizations) do have the right to choose who their members are, no matter how silly (or sad) the criteria is. this is where my inner libertarian gets tested. however, this is a state run university, so that does change things a bit ... and it seems like this group, of only 3 members, is trying to make a point (and little else).

thoughts?
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:23 PM   #2
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Ehmm, what I think is there any chance we could have a thread that isn't about gays?
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:29 PM   #3
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If it's a Christian fraternity than they should be able to have the freedom to associate with other Christians. I'm not sure why a non-believer would rush a Christian fraternity.

Now their specific call for exclusion of homosexuals just shows me they are three bigots.
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
Ehmm, what I think is there any chance we could have a thread that isn't about gays?

Start one.
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Religious Bias at UNC
by: Jon Sanders, August 20, 2004

RALEIGH – Once again, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill stands accused of discrimination against a Christian student group.

UNC-CH has derecognized the Alpha Iota Omega Christian fraternity (AIO) because the group sought to limit its membership to Christians. Derecognition means UNC-CH froze AIO's university account, cut off its web access, and denied the group the ability to reserve space on campus, apply for funding from student fees (AIO raised its own money), or make use of other privileges granted officially recognized student groups. UNC-CH did not even notify AIO when it revoked the group's official status.

AIO, an officially recognized student group since 1999 whose mission is "to train Christian leaders ... by upholding the Bible's true standard of righteousness," believed that a nondiscrimination clause UNC-CH required all student groups to sign would interfere with the group's right to maintain its character and mission. The clause would prohibit AIO from using religious affiliation as a criterion for membership. Not agreeing to the clause, but still seeking a reasonable solution to the problem, the group was derecognized without receiving notification. They learned as they suddenly lost web access and, later, access to their account, with the funds they had raised, with the Student Activities Fund Office.

AIO took their complaint to the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, the same organization that supported other Christian student groups against UNC-CH in 2002 when the university threatened them with what has now been done to AIO.

"It is particularly disappointing that UNC has once again denied basic constitutional rights to its religious organizations," said FIRE President David French. "Unlike some university administrations, UNC's leadership -- because of its actions less than two years ago -- is intimately familiar with the constitutional rights of religious students. UNC lacks any excuse for its shameful actions."

Moeser responded that in order for a student group to be officially recognized, it must "agree to abide by the [u]niversity's nondiscrimination policy by allowing membership and participation without regard to age, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, or sexual orientation." Under this policy, Moeser explained, "Baptist student groups are open to Presbyterian students; Jewish student groups are open to Christian students; the Italian Club is open to Korean students; and the Black Student Movement is open to white students."

French retorted, "A Christian group has the right to be Christian, a Muslim group has the right to be Muslim, and a Jewish group has the right to be Jewish. It seems absurd that anyone in a free society would have to make this argument, but time and time again FIRE has had to fight for this constitutional right at universities," French said.

N.C. Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) wrote to Moeser August 13 to urge UNC-CH to rethink its decision against AIO. Arguing that each student group "has the right to determine for itself the membership of its organization," Moore wrote that "[a] Christian group has every right to extend membership to only other Christians, so to does a group of chess players have every right to limit membership to only those interested in playing chess." Moore wrote that "saying that a group must welcome members who do not follow the group's purpose is unconstitutional and is a violation of that group's right to associate with whom they may please."

link here
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:41 PM   #6
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how ironic i'm wearing a UNC sweatshirt right now
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:47 PM   #7
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To me it only matters if the fraternity gets public funding (from the state university), if they don't get university money they can let whoever they want into their group and i don't really care .
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:53 PM   #8
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Originally posted by ILuvLarryMullen
To me it only matters if the fraternity gets public funding (from the state university), if they don't get university money they can let whoever they want into their group and i don't really care .
Why should that matter?

Let's start with the religious aspect of this fraternity. If their charter is for a Christian fraternity, should the state have the right to force them to let non-Christians join?
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:53 PM   #9
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Who would want to be in a fraternity that would want to exclude people because they're gay or whatever other reason, especially the reasons laid out in that policy ? Aren't you supposed to open your mind in college and leave that HS type of stuff behind?

I don't like fraternities, I'm sure there must be some good ones but all I've ever heard are negatives.

I wonder why they only have three members
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:53 PM   #10
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Interesting approach to the situation. One completely ignores the gay issue. I hope the fraternity makes a statement soon. I mean there only 3 of them it shouldn't take long for them all to agree on something.

I do find this part interesting;

Quote:
"has the right to determine for itself the membership of its organization," Moore wrote that "[a] Christian group has every right to extend membership to only other Christians, so to does a group of chess players have every right to limit membership to only those interested in playing chess."
Who would join if they weren't interested in Christianity. They said it themselves, the statement didn't say that the chess players have every right to limit membership to those who are chess players, it said to those interested in playing chess. Otherwise they'd be pretty damn bored with the chess club.

Sounds like someone's trying to cry victim in this article.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


Why should that matter?

Let's start with the religious aspect of this fraternity. If their charter is for a Christian fraternity, should the state have the right to force them to let non-Christians join?

the university's nondiscrimination policy.

The policy specifies that groups cannot deny membership to students based on personal characteristics such as age, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation and gender.


so the African Heritage club has to allow non-black members

and the Women's Study Group
would have to allow men


why is it bad that their discrimination has to be off campus?
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:22 PM   #12
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I guess being "open minded" means giving up the right of association.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:24 PM   #13
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They can't have association w/ out excluding people? I don't understand that
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:31 PM   #14
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
They can't have association w/ out excluding people? I don't understand that
The right of association is both inclusion and exclusion.

If you wanted to start a group to discuss U2 music, and people joined who only wanted to tell you how much U2 sucked, and you couldn't exclude them, you really don't have a right of association.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:34 PM   #15
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a message board

is not a college campus


no one is saying these guys can't have their club elsewhere
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