NC House Passes Bill Allowing Student Groups to Discriminate While Receiving Government Funding

June 18, 2014 12:00 am

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Sponsors Claim SB 719 Would Allow Ouster Only of Group Leaders for Ideological Reasons, But Bill’s Language Could Allow Groups to Discriminate Against Any Student

June 18, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

RALEIGH – The North Carolina House of Representatives today approved a Senate bill that would require public colleges and universities to recognize and grant funding and facilities to student groups that discriminate by ousting leaders or students based on their personal beliefs. SB 719 requires recognition of groups that “order their internal affairs” and “resolve the organization’s disputes” according to their faith or mission – which could be interpreting as kicking out or denying membership to certain students. The bill now heads to the governor for his signature.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina opposes the bill.

“This bill would force taxpayers to fund school groups even when they discriminate by rejecting students based on their race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation,” said Sarah Preston, ACLU-NC Policy Director. “The right of student groups to organize and meet without school resources is not in question. The only question is whether colleges and universities should be forced to fund and lend other resources to groups that discriminate not only in how they select student leaders, but potentially in how they select or determine membership.”

The ACLU’s fact sheet on the bill is available at:
acluofnorthcarolina.org/files/legislative/HB_735-SB_719_Student_Orgs_Rights-Recognition_updated_5-6-14.pdf

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