Haslam's 1st veto: Bill blocked Vandy's "all-comers" policy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he will veto a measure that tried to force Vanderbilt University to exempt student religious groups from its nondiscrimination policy. It was his first veto since taking office in 2010.

The university's so-called "all-comers" policy requires student groups at the school to allow any interested students to join and run for office. Some religious groups have waged a high-profile battle to overturn it.

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

The bill -- which passed the Senate 19-12 and was approved in the House 61-22 -- was sponsored by Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon and Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet, both Republicans.

Beavers told The Associated Press she's disappointed the administration didn't tell sponsors there might be a veto.

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