Religious Groups at Kansas Colleges Permitted to Exclude Students

The bill was hotly debated in both chambers of congress over the last two years.

Public colleges in Kansas must allow student religious groups to exclude members they feel don’t share their core beliefs.

Under the new law, signed by Governor Sam Brownback March 22, student groups would have the freedom to ban classmates from their organizations.

The governor’s signature ends two years of debate in the state over the bill, which was hotly contested in both chambers of congress.

Supporters of the new law say it is a victory for religious freedom, while its opponents argue it gives student groups the authority to discriminate.

“Senate Bill 175 preserves intellectual diversity and religious liberty by allowing student clubs and organizations to determine the membership of their own groups,” Gov. Brownback said.

Still some groups, such as the local chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, questioned if the bill would open schools up to lawsuits, according to

The Supreme Court has previously ruled that universities must allow membership to groups on campus for everyone.

Private schools would not be affected under the bill.

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