Monday, June 28, 2010

Supreme Court agrees that university can block Christan group that discriminates against sexual orientation

June 28, 5:20 PMSan Diego Church & State ExaminerAnna Cheuvront

June 28, 2010 – The Supreme Court backed non-discrimination today in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez ruling. This case that questioned whether the University of California Hastings School of Law had the right to deny the Christian Legal Society (CLS) official recognition. The law school sought to hold back official recognition because of CLS' discriminatory membership policies, a move that also prevented CLS from receiving university funding.

School attorneys cited a CLS policy that requires voting members to sign a statement of faith. The statement requires members to abstain from “unrepentant participation in the advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle.” The school claimed by denying persons of different beliefs and sexual orientations the right to participate violated the school’s non-discrimination policy.

The Supreme Court agreed in a 5-4 ruling that the Hastings Law School had the right to deny official recognition. In the Court’s opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the majority agreed that “In requiring CLS – in common with all other student organization – to choose between welcoming students and forgoing the benefits of official recognition, we hold, Hastings did not transgress constitutional limitations.”

The Court majority further added that “CLS, it bears emphasis, seeks not parity with other organizations, but a preferential exemption from Hastings’ policy.”


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