Virginia Passes Law Protecting Religious Pluralism on Campus

March 27, 2013

Good news from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Governor Bob McDonnell has signed a new law that champions the American tradition of pluralism by safeguarding the freedom of association of Virginia’s public college and university students. Virginia has only become the 2nd state to pass such a law since the Supreme Court of the United States’ disappointing ruling in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.

The new law states:

§ 23-9.2:12. Student organizations; rights and recognition.

To the extent allowed by state and federal law:

1. A religious or political student organization may determine that ordering the organization’s internal affairs, selecting the organization’s leaders and members, defining the organization’s doctrines, and resolving the organization’s disputes are in furtherance of the organization’s religious or political mission and that only persons committed to that mission should conduct such activities; and

2. No public institution of higher education that has granted recognition of and access to any student organization or group shall discriminate against any such student organization or group that exercises its rights pursuant to subdivision 1.

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