Tag Archives: comers

Ban on ‘All Comers’ Policy at State Universities Goes to Gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to bar public universities and colleges from implementing nondiscrimination policies for student groups is headed to the governor for his consideration.
The measure unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 on Wednesday. It was approved in the House 75-21 earlier this month.
The legislation does not include private institutions like Vanderbilt University — a provision that caused Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to veto last year’s version. The governor’s office says it’s OK with the current legislation.
Sponsors say the measure is aimed at preventing colleges from creating policies requiring student groups to open membership to all students and allow all members to seek leadership posts.
Christian groups have protested a similar policy at Vanderbilt, saying it forces them to allow nonbelievers and gay students to join. Officials say about 15 student groups have refused to comply with the policy, while 480 have accepted it.

Sponsor Drops Push to Strip Vanderbilt of Police Powers

A bill that would strip Vanderbilt University of its police powers is being dropped by its sponsor after an opinion from the Tennessee attorney general that it violates the U.S. constitution, according to Chas Sisk.
State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, announced Monday that he will withdraw House Bill 1150. The measure would have taken away the Vanderbilt University Police Department’s ability to make arrests and enforce criminal laws unless the school abandons its “all-comers” nondiscrimination policy.
“I want to be sure to stand up for our students’ religious rights without overstepping our state authority,” Pody said in a prepared statement announcing he would not pursue the bill. “At this point, I am still not satisfied with the ‘all-comers policy’ at some private institutions. However, it needs to be addressed in a different way.”
Vanderbilt has battled with several student groups over a requirement that all organizations it recognizes abide by the university’s nondiscrimination policy. Religious groups say the policy tramples on their freedom of worship.

Haslam Concerned About New ‘All Comers’ Bill

Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s concerned over a new bill that echoes one he vetoed last year, reports WPLN. At issue is a campus anti-discrimination policy at Vanderbilt University. It means Christian groups can’t exclude gay members, drawing ire from some in the legislature.
Last year lawmakers threatened to pull state money from Vanderbilt, over its so-called All Comers policy. It was the first time Haslam vetoed a bill. This year it’s back, now targeting the school’s police powers. Haslam says he’s still concerned. And he wants to know if this version would hold up in court.
“Remember last year we said we didn’t think it was constitutional. The attorney general later came back and said it wasn’t. We have the same concern here, if this is targeting in that way, that wouldn’t fit the constitution. So we’re trying to get a better read on that.”
Haslam stopped short of threatening another veto. His fellow Republicans in the legislature could override one with a simple majority.


Note: A vote on the bill was postponed until next week to give the attorney general time to issue an opinion validity of the legislation.