University Agrees to Let Campus Christian Group Pick Leaders on the Basis of Faith

Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

A college apologetics group has dismissed a lawsuit against a university after the school agreed to allow the organization to select leaders who meet their requirements for religious faith.

The Alliance Defending Freedom announced the suit they filed on behalf of Ratio Christi was being voluntarily dropped after the University of Houston-Clear Lake agreed to permit the group to operate according to its religious convictions.

The Christian Post reported that ADF Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton praised the university for “taking swift action to ensure Ratio Christi is given equal opportunity among its peer groups.”

“The University is supposed to be a free market of ideas. To meet that ideal, public universities must vigilantly protect the constitutional rights of students to freely speak and gather according to their religious beliefs,” he said in a statement.

The school, for its part, said that Ratio Christi always had the right to choose the leaders it wished and that the campus group handbook merely needed to be updated.

“A clarification was added to the university’s Student Organization Handbook to ensure there was no confusion regarding selection of officers for student organizations,” they said in a statement to the Post.

“Regardless of the clarification, the University of Houston-Clear Lake has always allowed officers of student organizations to align with the tenets of the organization they represent.”

In October, the ADF’s lawsuit on Ratio Christi’s behalf contended otherwise and accused the school of refusing to grant the group official recognition as a student organization.

“The university excluded Ratio Christi because it requires its leaders to agree with its values and mission. Other organizations have leadership requirements but are recognized by the university,” the ADF said in a press release at the time.

“But when Ratio Christi applied for recognition as a registered student organization, the university rejected the application and revoked its invitation to the student organization fair because Ratio Christi’s constitution requires its leaders to be Christians—not members of another faith or of no faith,” the law firm stated.

Shortly afterward, the school reversed course, sanctioning the group and giving a similar statement that Ratio Christi would have been allowed to select leaders of its choice all along.

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