Thursday, November 13, 2008

IPN concerned about weakened UI Policy

Student Government Rejects Funding to Anti-Gay Student Group; Administration Bullied into Reversing Decision

Des Moines, IA – November 13 – Iowa Pride Network is expressing concern that the University of Iowa may have violated its own policy on Human Rights with the approval of funding to a Christian group that specifically targets gays and lesbians and other students of “sexual impropriety”.

“Members of the UI Student Government committee that allocates fees for student groups were correct in denying the Christian Legal Society funding based on its mission that violated the University of Iowa’s Human Rights Policy,” stated Ryan Roemerman, Executive Director of Iowa Pride Network, a non-profit organization that networks and provides resources to Gay-Straight Alliances across Iowa.

This is not the first time the Christian Legal Society and its legal counsel have threatened lawsuits in Iowa. Last fall, this same type of controversy erupted on Iowa State University’s campus after conservative Christian groups tried to persuade Iowa State’s administration into allowing varying degrees of discrimination into ISU’s student organization policies. At that time, the ISU Student Government passed a resolution, “opposing the accommodation of any violation to the University’s non-discrimination policy.”

“Universities must realize that having an accepting and inclusive campus climate is crucial to the learning outcomes of its students,” stated Roemerman; adding that, “Allowing UI student organizations to discriminate and violate the UI Human Rights Policy is a dangerous precedent to set.”


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