Iowa to pay $1.9M to settle religious, speech rights cases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state panel has agreed to spend nearly $2 million to settle two federal lawsuits brought against the University of Iowa in 2017 after a religious group denied a gay student a leadership role.

The Iowa State Appeal Board on Monday approved the court ordered settlements. Lawyers for the student group Business Leaders in Christ were awarded $1.37 million dollars in fees and costs for litigating the case.

Intervarsity Christian Fellowship will be paid $20,000 in damages and about $513,000 in attorney fees.

The cases stem from the university delisting the two organizations for what officials said was a failure to comply with civil rights.