Senate Bill 175 would prohibit public colleges and universities in Kansas from denying funding to student groups that discriminate in their membership and organizational practices. SB 175 would give religious student groups unprecedented exemptions regarding anti-discrimination policies.
Colleges and universities commonly have “accept-all-comers” policies for student clubs. These policies state that, in order to receive official school recognition, student clubs may not discriminate in membership. This bill would contradict these policies and require the schools to subsidize discrimination.
Even with an “accept-all-comers” policy, religious student groups have unburdened free exercise and speech rights, as well as the same access rights to school facilities as all other student groups. They do not, however, have the right to force a public university to subsidize their discriminatory policies—and neither does any other student group. Nondiscrimination policies do not target the religious nature of any group—organizations of any political, religious, or ideological stripe can become recognized groups provided they adhere to the nondiscrimination policy.
The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on this bill Monday, March 9 at 10:30AM. Please take a moment to contact the members of the Committee by clicking on their names on the right side of this website and encourage them to oppose SB 175. Tell them:
“Please oppose SB 175. This bill would require public universities and colleges in Kansas to subsidize the discriminatory practices of student clubs. Please ensure Kansas’s colleges and universities are a welcome place for all students and vote NO on SB 175.”