A bill advancing through the Iowa Senate is intended to clarify the free speech rights of groups on college campuses in the state, in the wake of a lawsuit involving the University of Iowa and a campus organization.

The suit was filed by the campus group Business Leaders in Christ, after the university pulled its registered status for reportedly discriminating against a gay student. A federal judge ruled against the university on Wednesday.

Sen. Amy Sinclair tells KNIA/KRLS News the bill is intended to give the state’s educational institutions some direction in dealing with the free speech rights of those on its campuses.

“And so we advanced a bill out of subcommittee this week that would give some guidance to all of our community colleges and universities on how they manage student organizations and free speech on their campuses,” Sinclair says.

“That’s very timely given that the University of Iowa has been dealing with that issue specifically; so hopefully we can get that clarified, move it on and protect students’ free speech and assembly rights on campus.”

Sen. Sinclair says while some students may have opinions which differ from those of an institution’s leaders, their rights don’t disappear simply because they go onto a college campus or because someone else is offended by their ideas.

For more information on this issue and others in the Iowa Senate, tune in to today’s edition of Let’s Talk Knoxville.