CLS attorney available to media following hearing in Christian fraternity case

Oral arguments Wednesday at 11th Circuit in lawsuit against University of Fla.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008

WHO: CLS-CLRF Litigation Counsel Timothy J. Tracey
WHAT: Available for media interviews after hearing in Beta Upsilon Chi v. Machen
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 10, immediately following hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. EST
WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Elbert P. Tuttle Court of Appeals Building, 56 Forsyth St. NW, Atlanta

ATLANTA — An attorney with the Christian Legal Society will be available for media interviews outside the Elbert P. Tuttle Court of Appeals Building immediately following Wednesday's hearing in a federal lawsuit challenging unconstitutional discrimination by the University of Florida against a Christian fraternity.

"Christian student groups should not be singled out for discrimination," said Litigation Counsel Timothy J. Tracey with the CLS Center for Law & Religious Freedom. "The right to associate with people of like mind and interest applies to all student groups on a public university campus. We are confident that the 11th Circuit will not allow the University of Florida to deprive BYX of this right by forcing the group to abandon its identity as a Christian men's organization."

While allowing other groups to limit their membership according to shared values, university officials had refused to recognize BYX as a registered student group because the fraternity limits its membership to Christian men.

Attorneys with the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law & Religious Freedom and the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed suit on behalf of Beta Upsilon Chi (BYX) in July 2007. CLS and ADF attorneys also filed a motion asking the court to halt the discrimination while the court considers the case. The 11th Circuit set that decision aside in July 2008, granting an injunction requiring the university to recognize BYX while the case is on appeal.

Wednesday, Tracey will argue that the appeals court should maintain the injunction, prohibiting the University of Florida from denying BYX recognition as a student organization.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

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