Bill Allows Campus Religious Groups to Restrict Membership

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers have approved a bill that allows faith-based groups on public college campuses to restrict membership based on religious beliefs.

The bill passed 80-39 in first-round approval Tuesday in the House. It passed overwhelmingly in the Senate last year. If the bill wins final approval in the House, it will go to the governor for his signature.

The measure prevents universities from withholding funding based on a group’s decision to allow only members who share the organization’s beliefs.

Supporters say the bill is a response to pressure for school religious organizations to accept anyone as a member, even if their beliefs conflict with those of the group. Critics say the bill allows groups that are funded by taxpayer dollars to discriminate.