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Judge refuses university’s motion to dismiss, voices support for claims of Christian fraternity

GREENSBORO, N.C.—A federal judge today gave a Christian fraternity the upper hand in a lawsuit against officials with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“The judge felt the university was conceding to most of our arguments,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence, who argued before the court today.  “He refused to dismiss our lawsuit.  He also indicated that he would likely be willing to grant our request to stop the university from enforcing its policy on student organizations unless the university signs a consent decree agreeing to change the policy by Feb. 28.”

ADF attorneys represent Alpha Iota Omega, the Christian fraternity that filed suit against university officials on Aug. 25 of last year.  The university pulled the fraternity’s recognition as an official student organization because its leaders would not agree to a non-discrimination policy that would require the group to admit non-Christian members.

“We believe we prevailed today for a very simple reason.  It’s hard for any logical person to understand why this fraternity should be forced to accept a policy that undermines its very reason for existence,” Lorence said.  “Like all the other student organizations at UNC, Alpha Iota Omega simply wants leaders that have the same purpose and goals.”

ADF is or has been involved in numerous similar cases around the country where university officials have sought to require Christian student organizations to agree to policies similar to the one at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The case, Alpha Iota Omega Christian Fraternity v. Moeser, is being litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

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