Tag Archives: nondiscrimination

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.

Regents Chancellor Questions Logic of Legislation!?

The Tennessee Board of Regents is questioning the logic of legislation that prevents public colleges from enforcing nondiscrimination rules on religious student groups, according to WPLN.
The bill (SB3597) responds to an ongoing dispute at Vanderbilt University, even though private institutions are excluded. The legislation would prevent administrators from requiring student groups to drop faith requirements for membership or leadership positions, as Vanderbilt has done.
TBR Chancellor John Morgan says he doesn’t know exactly how the proposed law would affect MTSU, Austin Peay or Tennessee Tech, but he doesn’t see a need.
“Far as I know, that has not been an issue at any of the public institutions in Tennessee, yet we’re going to pass a law that only applies to public institutions? It’s hard for me to understand that.”
A summary of the bill – which was scheduled for a Senate vote Monday night (but was postponed until next week) – says religious student organizations would be allowed to choose leaders who are committed to their mission and that no higher education institution could deny recognition of a group because of the religious content of their speech.

Student Protesters Petition Governor on Gay Discrimination Bill

A group of student protesters marched to the state capitol Friday over an issue they call an embarrassment to Tennessee, reports WSMV-TV.
The students delivered a petition to Gov. Bill Haslam’s staff about the nondiscrimination bill and said his office has been very receptive.
“I think (Gov. Haslam) was even more supportive because we are youth that are taking a stand for what we believe in,” said Brandon Holt, a recent graduate of Martin Luther King Jr. High School.
Haslam signed a bill in May that overturned Nashville’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which prohibited companies that work with the city from discriminating against gays and lesbians.
The students are behind a new effort to “repeal the repeal,” aimed at getting the Legislature to reverse the decision. Sen. Jim Kyle, D-Memphis, has introduced legislation to overturn the measure.