[UPDATE] Here’s a bit more in-depth piece on it.
The fraternity in question, Beta Upsilon Chi (“Brothers Under Christ”), was removed from the roster of official student groups in November due to their requirement that members and officers “affirm [their] personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ” (as the mission statement is “To establish brotherhood and unity among college men based on the common bond of Jesus Christ,” that only makes sense), and that they require all members to be Christian.
This requirement violated the new policy enacted by the Board of Regents statewide, and the University locally, that student organizations include in their constitution, and adhere to, the statement that “Membership shall not be denied to any person because of age, race, sex, religion, handicap, sexual orientation, or national origin.” (emphasis added)
The lawsuit, filed by the Alliance Defense Fund and the Center for Law & Religious Freedom, was filed on the grounds that UGA has not consistently applied its nondiscrimination policy, and cited the examples of the Baha’i Student Association, which requires that a person be of the Baha’i faith to be an officer.
Faced with legal action, the University corrected itself, in part blaming the ordeal on a misunderstanding on the part of an employee , Josh Podvin, who was already known throughtout the administration and student body to be less than competent.
However, the bigger victory scored here is that not only was BYX granted permission to immediately reform and begin once again to receive the benefits afforded to all official student organizations, but the University has agreed to reevaluate, and revise, its nondiscrimination policy.
From an official letter sent by the Legal Affairs office at UGA, to the Center for Law & Religious Freedom:
The Division of Student Affairs will process the paperwork to immediately register Beta Upsilon Chi as a student organization at the University of Georgia.
Your client will have all the rights and responsibilities of a registered student organization except that they will be exempt from the provisions of the University’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harrassment Policy relating to membership in the organization based upon religion.
The University will be reviewing its student organization policies in the near future and all of your concerns will be thoroughly considered.
Having a nondiscrimination policy makes sense in some cases, but in the instance of an organization based around some ideal, ideology, or religion — such as a Christian group, an all-male fraternity, an all-female sorority, or a conservative or liberal organization, for example — it is beyond illogical to demand that adherence to the ideal, ideology, or religion around which that group is based be required for membership or officership.