Governor Plans to Veto Vandy Nondiscrimination Bill

May 3, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee Govornor Bill Haslam says he'll veto a measure that would require Vanderbilt University to exempt student religious groups from its nondiscrimination policy.

Christian student leaders say their groups shouldn't be forced to admit members, and possibly leaders, who don’t share their beliefs.

Haslam, a Republican, says he disagrees with Vanderbilt's policy but believes it's, his words, "inappropriate for government to mandate the policies of a private institution."

Professor Carol Swain is the faculty advisor for the Vanderbilt Christian Legal Society, one of the groups impacted by the university’s new all-comer’s policy. She’s encouraging the governor to let the bills stand.

“This is the time for people to stand up, call the governor’s office, email the governor, and let him know that you care about religions freedom in Tennessee, and that you don’t support any group being discriminated against.”


Swain says she hopes Haslam will “respect” the state legislature and sign the bill into law.

If Governor Haslam does veto the bill, it will be his first since taking office in 2010.