A judge issued a temporary block to a policy censoring and preventing three Christian students from speaking about their Biblical beliefs inside their school's premises.
Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye, in an order released last week, issued a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the University of Idaho's policy barring students Ryan Alexander, Mark Miller and Peter Perlot from speaking with a student about their views on same-sex marriage, the Christian Post reported.
The three students, who belong to the Christian Legal Society's University of Idaho chapter, hold traditional Biblical beliefs when it comes to marriage and sexuality, namely that it is between a biological man and biological woman.
Earlier reports indicate that according to a lawsuit filed against the University, the three students were present at a community event condemning the use of an LGBT slur when they were asked as to why the CLS required aspiring members to affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.
A CLS member explained that this is because "it is the only view of marriage and sexuality affirmed in the Bible." Another CLS member allegedly "left a handwritten note for the student" who asked the question. This member then told the student that he'd be "happy to discuss" the matter further so they could exchange their views.
Following this, the three students were given "no-contact" orders by the University's Office of Civil Rights and Investigations, preventing them from discussing the matter of Biblical marriage and sexuality to the student who asked the above questions.
The orders barring contact, as per the lawsuit, violated the three students' rights under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
"Instead of allowing the students to disagree civilly and respectfully with one another and to discuss these important issues, the University chose instead to censor Plaintiffs," the lawsuit said at the time.
Alliance Defending Freedom's Michael Ross, at the time, said the University of Idaho is "shutting down" the three students "because of their religious views." He added that students should be free to discuss important issues regardless of their religious and ideological backgrounds.
Judge Blasts University's Canceling Of Students' Rights
Judge Nye, in his order, pointed out how the University exhibited bias against a particular speech based on a certain belief, specifically with regards to same-sex marriage.
"Defendants' orders targeted the viewpoint of Plaintiffs' speech. Both students and professors expressed opposing viewpoints to the views expressed by Plaintiffs without any type of intervention, let alone punishment," Nye wrote.
"The disparity in Defendants' approach is what bothers the Court most about this case and leans towards a finding that Defendants' actions were designed to repress specific speech," Nye continued.
The judge emphasized that the Constitution gives people the "right to express their religious beliefs without fear of retribution." In this case, while some might not agree with what the Christian students believe in, they still have the right to freely and openly talk about what they believe with others.
The ADF, in a press release, celebrated the judge's decision and expressed hopes that this temporary victory would lead to a final resolution that guarantees free speech for everyone, Christian or not.