Wednesday, August 06, 2008

FL Univ. Ordered to Recognize Christian Fraternity

"All we're trying to do is get a group of guys who share a common bond in Jesus Christ together."

-- From "Appeals court: UF must recognize Christian-only frat" by Nathan Crabbe, Gainesville Sun staff writer 8/1/08

The University of Florida has more than 60 officially recognized student groups that include religion as part of their missions, including groups for Christian pharmacy students and Jewish law students.

Yet the university denied a Christian fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi, recognition on the grounds its membership policies were discriminatory.

University officials say there's a major distinction between Beta Upsilon Chi, or BYX, and other religious groups on campus. BYX requires members to be Christians, while other student groups are open to non-believers.

The U.S. Constitution requires universities to recognize religious groups, said Isaac Fong, an attorney for the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law & Religious Freedom who represented BYX.

As a recognized student organization, the group can use UF facilities and receive funding from student government. BYX's lawsuit claims that the university, by withholding those privileges from the frat, violated Constitutional rights to free exercise of religion, freedom of association and freedom of speech.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.