Federal Court Dismisses All Claims Against Yale Fraternities

The U. S. District Court in Connecticut dismissed with prejudice all claims against fraternities in a lawsuit filed by Engender and three individuals attacking single-sex membership policies at Yale University.

In its opinion, the court stated the plaintiffs’ claims lacked “a strong basis in law.” The decision follows the rejection of a similar Engender theory last year by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

The Yale Sigma Chi chapter, the International Fraternity and the House Corporation at Yale, Inc., were among those listed as defendants in the case.

“All students should have the right to join organizations, co-ed or single-sex, that enhance their collegiate experience and make positive contributions to the local community,” says Judson Horras, president and CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference.

“Sigma Chi has made an intentional decision to invest in defending the fraternal experience,” adds Sigma Chi Executive Director Michael Church, ILLINOIS 2005. “These recent developments demonstrate what can be accomplished through interfraternal collaboration and we should all be very proud of the leadership role Sigma Chi has played in these critical efforts.”

The federal court decision is the latest win for single-sex organizations following federal and state court conclusions in Massachusetts related to the Harvard case, noting that the school’s sanctions policy against individuals who join single-sex organizations may be discriminatory and unlawful.

Further, the Collegiate Freedom of Association Act has received strong bipartisan support in Congress and is sponsored by Significant Sig Rep. Ruben Gallego, HARVARD 2004.