By the time Julie Catalano entered Tufts University in Medford, Mass., three years ago, she had drifted from her United Church of Christ roots faith and considered herself bisexual. A few weeks into her first semester in 1997, she attended a meeting of Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF), a local affiliate of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. At the meeting she heard, among other things, a speaker articulate TCF's viewpoint that the Bible forbids homosexual behavior. That meeting sparked Catalano's spiritual renewal and participation in campus Christian fellowship. But in April, Catalano filed a discrimination complaint with Tufts when TCF blocked her from holding a leadership post. The Tufts Community Union Judiciary, meeting without a hearing late on a Friday night in April, found TCF guilty of discrimination and banished the group from campus, revoking $5,700 a year in student fees.
"We went to sleep as TCF and we woke up as an effectively banned group without any reasonable due process or fair hearing," says regional InterVarsity leader Curtis Chang. TCF learned of the decision via a midnight voicemail message. But the group successfully appealed the decision on procedural grounds May 16. Chang says he is "overjoyed " that TCF has been reinstated. However, the issue is far from over. Catalano's original complaint will be reconsidered in the fall by a newly elected student judiciary. The dispute has mushroomed far beyond the boundaries of the Tufts campus, which was founded by Unitarians. John Leo, a conservative columnist for U.S. News & World Report, sees nationwide implications:
"The politically correct left now relies far more on coercion than persuasion or moral appeal. The long-term trend is to depict dissent from ...1