by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A public university in Texas has officially changed its policies to allow Christian student clubs to require that their leaders be practicing believers, Just the News (JN) reports. The University of Houston-Clear Lake made the changes after the Ratio Christi Christian student club filed suit asserting that the school had denied its recognition because it requires leaders to be Christians.
Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) legal group, Ratio Christi claimed the Houston-Clear Lake school had allowed other student clubs to restrict membership based on factors such as sex or veteran status while maintaining the Christian club’s standard violated university discrimination policy, JN reports.
The school did immediately grant recognition to the club after the suit was first filed in the fall last year, but there was a delay in regard to changing its overall policies: the plaintiffs remained concerned that the policies used to deny recognition to Ratio Christi were still in place.
The Houston-Clear Lake school has now amended its 2021-2022 Registered Student Organization Handbook to assert that student clubs may “limit Officers to those members who subscribe to the tenets of that organization,” JN reports. Under the February 2 settlement, the school will also pay Ratio Christi $25,000 in attorney’s fees and $400 each for the club and two student plaintiffs, for a total of $26,200.
After formally dropping the lawsuit on Tuesday, ADF senior counsel Gregg Walters said in a statement: “Public universities across the country are learning that there are consequences when they unlawfully discriminate against students or student groups based on their faith.”
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