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Court: University of Iowa officials liable for targeting Christian group

A federal judge later ruled that the university unevenly applied its human rights policy by revoking the registration of Business Leaders in Christ.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this May 3, 2006, file photo, University of Iowa students walk past the Old Capitol building in Iowa City, Iowa a few days before the building was to open to the public for the first time since being heavily damaged in a fire on Nov. 20, 2001. The University of Iowa filed a lawsuit in October 2016 against the contractor it hired to restore and improve the campus icon after the 2001 fire destroyed parts of the building. The university says it discovered construction deficiencies in 2011 that the contractor has since refused to correct. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A federal appeals court says three University of Iowa administrators can be held personally liable for monetary damages for improperly revoking a Christian student group that rejects homosexual relationships. 

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the administrators are not immune from the lawsuit brought by Business Leaders in Christ because they violated the group’s clearly established constitutional rights to freedom of speech and association. 

The case dates to 2017, when the organization barred a student from serving in its leadership after disclosing that he was gay and did not agree with its teachings on sexual morality.  

A federal judge ruled later that the university unevenly applied its human rights policy by revoking the group's registration.


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