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SCOTUS to decide if the Christian Legal Society can exclude gays

"In a case that carries great implications for how public universities and schools must accommodate religious groups, the University of California's Hastings College of the Law is defending its anti-discrimination policy against charges that it denies religious freedom."

The case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, will be argued in the Supreme Court Monday morning.

The Washington Post reports:
University of California's Hastings College of the Law, which requires officially recognized student groups to admit any Hastings student who wants to join, may be well-meaning, says the student outpost of the Christian Legal Society.

But the Christian Legal Society contends that requiring it to allow gay students and nonbelievers into its leadership would be a renunciation of its core beliefs, and that the policy violates the Constitution's guarantee of free speech, association with like-minded individuals and exercise of religion.

"Hastings' policy is a threat to every group that seeks to form and define its own voice," the group told the court in a brief.

Hastings counters that the Christian Legal Society, a national organization that seeks to "proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law," is demanding special treatment. It wants the college's official stamp of approval and the access to benefits and student activity fees that come with it, but it will not commit to following the nondiscrimination policy that every other student group follows.

The Christian Legal Society is not being forced to do anything, Hastings contends. "A group may abide by the school's viewpoint-neutral open-membership policy and obtain the modest funding and benefits that go along with school recognition, or forgo recognition and do as it wishes," it said in its brief.
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