ADF attorneys ask court to stop UW-Madison officials from discriminating against student religious clubs

University officials refuse to honor terms of settlement agreement giving Roman Catholic Foundation same rights as other campus groups
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MADISON, Wis. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a motion for preliminary injunction Monday against University of Wisconsin-Madison officials on behalf of the Roman Catholic Foundation, aiming to end a pattern of discrimination against religious clubs on campus.  UW-Madison officials continue to violate the terms of a seven-month-old settlement agreement designed to give RCF the same rights as other campus groups.

"Once again, UW-Madison officials have chosen to treat Christian students as second-class citizens," said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel David Hacker. "Because university officials failed to follow the terms of the settlement agreement, we are asking the court to step in and make sure the rights of Christian students are protected."

In May, the university agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by ADF attorneys after the school refused to recognize RCF and allow it viewpoint-neutral access to student activity fee funding, contending that the group was in violation of the school’s "non-discrimination" policy.

After a federal court ordered an end to enforcement of the university’s non-discrimination policy against the student organization, the school agreed in the settlement to refrain from discriminating against the RCF when allocating student activity fees.  ADF attorneys filed a new lawsuit against the school Sept. 10, after the university failed to honor the terms of the previous agreement.

A copy of the motion for preliminary injunction filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Roman Catholic Foundation, UW-Madison v. Walsh can be read here.

"The university seems to play a game of bait-and-switch when it comes to religious freedom on campus," said Hacker.  "All UW student groups, including those of a religious nature, are entitled to the same rights and privileges on campus.  By denying those rights, university officials are continuing to break the law."

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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.