Tuesday, 29 June 2010

US Supreme Court Rules: Religious Group Can’t Demand Funding while Violating Non-Discrimination Policies

The case concerns a student chapter of the Christian Legal Society (CLS), which sued the school after being denied official recognition and funding because the student group violated the school's non-discrimination policy. That policy requires that student groups must be open to all students in order to receive funding and official recognition. The federal appellate court below ruled unanimously against CLS because the school's policy prohibited every student group, whether religious or secular, from excluding students that disagree with the group's mission. For example, if the school's Democratic club cannot access school funding while excluding Republicans from its membership, a conservative Christian group cannot demand funds while excluding gay, non-Christian, or non-conservative Christian students. CLS appealed, claiming that it had a constitutional right - not enjoyed by any secular organizations - to receive state funding while discriminating against students on the basis of religion and sexual orientation.

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