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Resolution On Equal Access Legislation

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have championed the rights of free exercise of religion and of free speech while opposing any establishment of religion; and

WHEREAS, There are many evidences that some student groups have been denied the right to assemble on public school premises solely on the basis of opposition to speech with religious content; and

WHEREAS, Non-religious student groups are generally allowed to meet on public school premises; and

WHEREAS, Strong bipartisan support has developed in the Congress for an “equal access” bill which would prohibit discrimination against student group meetings on the basis of the religious content of the speech to be used at those meetings.

Be it therefore RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention in its annual session at Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 1984, voices its strong approval of the principle that if a public school establishes a limited open forum consisting of non-school-sponsored, student-initiated, student-controlled, student group meetings, no such group may be excluded on the basis of the religious content of speech used in its meetings; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we commend all Baptist leaders for their work toward securing passage of this bill and ask that the leaders continue to assign a high priority to passage of an equal access bill; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That the messengers to this Convention covenant together that they will write to the President and to their representatives and senators in support of such an equal access bill and that they will actively seek to enlist others to write expressing their support.