CHAPEL HILL, N.C.

Christian music group allowed to expel gay student

Officials at the state’s flagship university say a Christian singing group had the latitude to expel a member who identified himself as gay.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said the decision by the Christian a cappella group Psalm 100 did not violate the school’s non-discrimination policy.

The non-discrimination policy allows student groups to limit their memberships based on specific beliefs, but not on personal characteristics such as race, age or sexual orientation.

The Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said Psalm 100 kicked the student out because he no longer lived up to the belief that the Bible restricts sex to heterosexual marriage.

Winston Crisp, campus vice chancellor for student affairs, said the university could not find evidence contradicting the group’s position.

RENO, Nev.

Hindu temple breaks ground; first built in northern Nevada

A ground-breaking ceremony is planned in southeast Reno on Sunday for the first Hindu temple in northern Nevada.

Temple spokesman Rajan Zed said the local Hindu community has been worshiping for years in a rented building under the umbrella of a tax-exempt organization, the Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada Inc.

Zed said Nevada’s only existing Hindu temples are in Las Vegas. Some 600 Hindu families live in northern and western Nevada, he said.

MASON CITY, Iowa

Mennonites challenge ban on steel wheels on roads

The Iowa Supreme Court has taken up a challenge to Mitchell County’s ordinance banning vehicles with steel wheels on hard-surfaced roads.

The high court heard arguments Thursday in the case of Matthew Zimmerman, 13, a Mennonite who was cited for driving a steel-wheeled tractor on a county road in 2010.

The Globe Gazette reported that Zimmerman’s attorney, Colin Murphy, told the justices that the ordinance clearly prevented practice of the Mennonite religion. Zimmerman is a member of the Groffdale Old Order Mennonite Conference, which bars the use of rubber wheels on tractors.

County Attorney Mark Walk said the ordinance is neutral and didn’t seek to interfere with anyone’s religion. The justices will issue an opinion at a later date.