Fowler Says Veto Will Mean Disbanding of Vandy Christian Groups

Following through with an intention announced earlier, Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday vetoed the so-called “Vanderbilt all-comers bill” passed by the Legislature earlier this month, according to his press secretary.
David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, had drafted the legislation, lobbied it in the General Assembly and then led a campaign to conviince the governor to change his mind and not veto the bill.
Here’s a statement issued by Fowler on the veto:
Although we have not been able to obtain confirmation from the Governor’s office itself, it is our understanding that on Monday Governor Haslam vetoed Senate Bill 3597.
Obviously the outcome is not what had been hoped for by our organization, national conservative organizations, the bill sponsors, the campus ministries that will probably be disbanded, and the nearly sixty percent of the legislature that voted for the bill.
We share the Governor’s desire that government regulation of private businesses be held to the minimum, but our civil rights laws are a prime example of government regulating a private business when fundamental values are at risk. And there is no doubt that religious liberty is a fundamental American value.
In our view the bill was effectively a 13 month “temporary injunction” designed to protect these student religious organizations while the law applicable to Vanderbilt’s all-comer’s policies was being sorted out. Under the circumstances, we thought the bill was an appropriate course to take to avoid irreparable harm to organizations that will now most likely be disbanded.

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