Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Supreme Court accepts case that pits university, Christian group over admission of gay students

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether a state-funded university violates the United States Constitution by requiring student groups to be open to all.

The lawsuit was filed by the Christian Legal Society after the student group refused to admit gay and lesbian students at the University of California at Hastings School of Law. The law school, citing a policy that all student groups have to be open to all students, said that the group would lose its status as an official student group. The group also forbids membership to others not following its biblical interpretation.

Although the dispute arose in the law school context, the decision could have much further reaching implications.

Similar disputes have been going on across the country for the last decade. The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law faced a similar dispute in Fall 2003. Rather than wait for a court ruling, the administration voluntarily changed its policy to exempt religious organizations from the rules that require groups to be open to all students.

The appeal from the Supreme Court was from a decision upholding the actions of the law school.

Stay tuned.

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