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Case

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship v. Rutgers University

Last Updated: 5/29/2020

Overview

What's at stake

  • The right of association applied to religious groups
  • Preventing discrimination against faith-based student groups

Summary

Rutgers University instituted a policy to require all student groups to execute an anti-discrimination statement affirming they would not discriminate in their membership and leadership on the basis of, amongst other things, religion or sexual orientation. When the faith-based student club, InterVarsity, refused to include the statement in its constitution, the university excluded the group from rights and privileges reserved for university recognized groups. The faith-based group refused to include the statement because if followed literally it would be required to allow leaders and members who held views contrary to the organization and in contravention of the reason for the organization's existence.  When a suit was prepared to be filed with the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, the university relented and InterVarsity's status was restored with its organizational integrity intact. The campus ministry can continue, like all other groups, to have access to campus facilities and student funding without compromising.

This case was part of the genesis of the Alliance Defending Freedom University Project founded to protect the rights of student groups and students to freely live out and share their faith on public university campuses. 

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom provided funding to the legal team representing the student group.

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