Georgetown University, citing its Jesuit roots and religious beliefs, asked Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to allow it to put off providing two gay rights groups with equal access to campus facilities and services, as ordered by an appeals court. The two groups, Gay People of Georgetown University and the Gay Rights Coalition of Georgetown University Law Center, sued the District of Columbia school in 1980 over official recognition. The suit invoked the capital city's Human Rights Act, which in part prohibits schools from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. A federal trial judge ruled that the university's religious freedom would be violated if the ordinance was enforced against it, but the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling.