136 Texas public colleges, universities asked about religious discrimination at career centers

ADF, allies send letters urging campus officials to change any job posting policies discriminating against religious organizations
Monday, July 25, 2011

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Alliance Defense Fund, the Justice Foundation, and Liberty Institute sent letters Thursday to top officials of 136 colleges and universities across the Lone Star State, urging them to change any discriminatory policies against religious organizations at their career centers in the wake of the resolution of a recent problem at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Highlighting the May victory, the letter stresses the right of religious organizations seeking employees who share their religious beliefs to use the services and communication channels provided by career service centers at public universities just as non-religious entities are allowed to seek those with similar viewpoints.

“Christian organizations shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs and denied equal access to public university services that are available to everyone else,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “Texas university and college policies that inform groups that they are free to use school facilities and services only if they abandon their religion are not in keeping with the law or the Constitution. The Constitution simply does not allow the government to require religious groups to stop being religious as a condition to accessing broadly available public benefits. Such rules would be the end of religious organizations.”

The ADF letter urges campus officials to review their policies and amend any section(s) where “they require (or permit) the exclusion of religious employers from the benefits provided by your university’s career service center.”

To avoid possible legal action, college and university officials are asked to confirm that: “1) religious organizations are exempted from any prohibition on discrimination in recruitment and hiring practices that burdens their religious freedom, or 2) religious organizations may utilize the benefits provided by career service centers to recruit and hire employees who share the organizations’ religious commitments.”

“Not only is such a policy change legally required, it is also the right thing to do,” the ADF letter states. “Public universities should serve the interests of all of their students, which include many religious students who may desire to work at institutions affiliated with their particular religious beliefs and values. Eliminating religious employers from the pool of employers who may advertise at university career centers is a serious disservice to these students, and will likely be an enormous obstacle to them finding meaningful and fulfilling work after graduating.” 

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.