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Tag: Kennedy

Supreme Court rules for non-discrimination in public schools

By Julia Rosen

The best summary of this case I’ve seen was by Adam Bonin over at Daily Kos, who writes:

And today it’s My Religion Doesn’t Like The Gays versus Our Policies Say You Can’t Discriminate Against Gays, in the context of the a student religious group at the Hastings College of Law — a part of the California public educational system.

The schools won with a 5-4 ruling. The Supreme Court upheld the ability for public schools to deny recognition and funding to campus organizations who violate the school’s non-discrimination policies. In this case the University of California’s Hastings School of Law had in place a non-discrimination policy against LGBTs and the had a request for recognition/support from Christian Legal Society, whose by-laws include:

In view of the clear dictates of Scripture, unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle is inconsistent with an affirmation of the Statement of Faith, and consequently may be regarded by CLS as disqualifying such an individual
from CLS membership…. [including] all acts of sexual conduct outside of God’s design for marriage between one man and one woman, which acts include fornication, adultery, and homosexual conduct.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, whose husband recently passed away read the majority decision in court today. Kennedy and Stevens wrote concurring decisions. Alito wrote the dissent.

Adam adds this crucial reminder of the limitations of this ruling:

It’s important to recognize the limits of today’s decision. It’s not “all student groups must allow all students at all campuses.” It’s simply this: if a school wants to have an “all comers” policy, then it’s allowed to enforce it and override the discriminatory beliefs of a group seeking recognition — in other words, that the government is not required to fund discrimination. Different universities, however, can make their own decisions as to what works for them.

We can’t really see this as a test of how Perry v. Schwarzenegger would go, but it is heartening to once again see Justice Kennedy on the side of the good.

90 Comments June 28, 2010