University of Idaho prevented from punishing Christians who protest against gay marriage

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

 

The freedom of religion has been upheld at the University of Idaho, where a district judge has temporarily stopped the university from punishing three Christian students who spoke out against LGBTQ marriage on campus.

Last week, Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye barred the university on grounds that the university was targeting the three students, Peter Perlot, Mark Miller and Ryan Alexander, for their Christian beliefs.

The students had previously sued Idaho University in April after it had prevented them from addressing same-sex issues with another student. They were dealt “no-contact” orders from university executives.

Sources indicate these three students were neither abrasive nor judgmental in their manner of conversation with the anonymous student, but instead simply fielded questions from the student, which led to a cordial dialogue and the potential of a follow-up conversation.

Judge Nye said, “The Court agrees Plaintiffs have a high likelihood of showing Defendants violated the First Amendment by issuing the no-contact orders based on the content and viewpoint of their speech. Some may disagree with Plaintiffs’ religious beliefs. Such is each person’s prerogative and right. But none should disagree that Plaintiffs have a right to express their religious beliefs without fear of retribution. The Constitution makes that clear.”

Matt Hoffman, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, said after the ruling, “Peter, Mark, and Ryan are guaranteed the freedom under the First Amendment to discuss their faith on campus, just like every other student and faculty member. We’re pleased they are again free to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms without fear of punishment, and we look forward to a final resolution of this case in their favor and, ultimately, in favor of free speech for everyone.”

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