Main | Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Anti-Gay Christian Student Group

The Alliance Defense Fund, the losing-est Christianist outfit ever, has lost again.
UC Hastings College of the Law can deny recognition and funding to a Christian student group because it excludes gays, lesbians and non-Christians, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The San Francisco law school is entitled to require official student organizations to "accept all comers as members, even if those individuals disagree with the mission of the group," the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled. It said the school's policy is "viewpoint-neutral" and does not violate the rights of the Christian Legal Society.

The brief ruling cited the court's decision last year allowing a Washington state high school to deny recognition to a student Bible club that required members to endorse its religious creed. Last week, the club asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review that case. Both rulings allow public schools to "require religious organizations to include people in their groups who disagree with what the religious groups believe," said attorney Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization that is involved in both cases on behalf of the student groups. "That's a violation of the First Amendment, free speech and freedom of religion."
The Christian Legal Society has chapters at 165 law schools and in 2004 added a rule that barred membership to anyone engaging in "unrepentant homosexual conduct." Last month a federal judge ruled that California's public universities could deny funding and recognition to any group that practices discrimination.

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