Iowa lawsuit pits gay rights against religious freedom

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ The University of Iowa is caught in a legal fight with a conservative Christian student group that denied a leadership position to a gay student.

The case pits a university policy barring discrimination based on sexual orientation against the religious beliefs of a 10-member group called Business Leaders in Christ.

The group sued in federal court after the state’s flagship university in Iowa City revoked the group’s campus registration in November. The group says its membership is open to everyone, but that its leaders must affirm a statement of faith that rejects homosexuality.

The university says it respects the right of students, faculty, and staff to practice the religion of their choice but does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.