Alliance Defending Freedom has taken the lead of late, pushing to prevent public universities from discriminating against Christian student groups. As a result 30 public universities have adopted new rules and regulations intended to prevent religious discrimination.

Recently a number of universities have threatened to cut off funding for Christian student-groups if they will not compromise their views on important issues or allow non-Christians to hold leadership positions; others have told groups they cannot hold functions on campus due to the religious nature of the group–even though similar student organizations are allowed to do so–and others have tried to squelch Christian students’ free speech in varying degrees.

According to ADF Senior Legal Counsel Kevin Theriot, ADF’s effort “has given public universities and colleges the opportunity to respect the constitutionally protected freedoms of their students without any costly litigation. The objective has been to inform officials of how their policies conflict with the Constitution, as reinforced by numerous federal court rulings, so that the schools can make changes.”

Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) sponsored HB2271, a bill to “Prohibit Arkansas State-Supported Colleges and Universities from Denying Recognition, Privileges, or Benefits to a Student Organization or Group on the Basis of Religion,” during the most recent legislative session. His bill would have helped prevent religious discrimination from happening to Arkansas college students the way it has in other states. The bill, however, died in the House Education Committee due to the fact it was not brought up for discussion prior to adjournment.