Mar 23, 2016

Kansas: Campus Religious Groups Allowed to Restrict Membership

MARCH 22, 2016

Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation Tuesday allowing faith-based groups at college campuses in Kansas to restrict membership to like-minded people, probably putting the state in conflict with civil liberties groups. The Republican-dominated Legislature approved the measure this month, even though theUnited States Supreme Court ruled nearly six years ago that universities could require membership in such groups to be open to all. Supporters have said that the bill is a victory for the freedom to exercise religious beliefs, but opponents called it a veiled attempt to legalize discrimination. Kansas already had a religious objections law that prevents state or local governments from limiting people’s freedom to express their religion, though that law does not touch on organizations at universities. With Mr. Brownback’s signature, Kansas becomes the second state, after Oklahoma, to have a college-specific law.

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