Main | Wednesday, December 09, 2009

SCOTUS To Decide Case Of LGBT Students Excluded From Christian Group

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of LGBT students barred from membership in a college Christian group. The Christian Legal Society had appealed a lower court's decision to uphold a California university's denial of recognition over anti-gay discrimination.
The case could set new rules for campus groups that receive funding through fees paid by the students. The justices agreed to hear an appeal from a San Francisco chapter of the Christian Legal Society, which lost its recognition as a student group at the UC Hastings College of Law because it refused to abide by the school's anti-discrimination policy. The law school said that officially recognized student groups must be open to all. The university has a policy forbidding discrimination based on "race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sex or sexual orientation" in all of its programs.

Five years ago, however, the new leaders of the CLS chapter at Hastings declared they would not agree to accept gay or lesbian students or others who do not adhere to traditional Christian beliefs. They cited the national policy of the Christian Legal Society, which says: "In view of the clear dictates of Scripture, unrepentant participation in and advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle is inconsistent with an affirmation of the Statement of Faith" set by the organization. So the law school said the CLS chapter would lose its status as an official student group. That meant the school would not pay travel costs for the group's leaders to attend national meetings.
The Christian Legal Society is citing as precedent the decision that the Boy Scouts of America may exclude anyone "whose lifestyle contradicted the group's mission statement."

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