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Supreme Court takes case of student group that bars gay members

Christian student group cites freedom of religion in disallowing gay members. The college cites its nondiscrimination policy. The Supreme Court has agreed to decide which will prevail.

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The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up a case testing the limits of religious freedom and association when those rights clash with a college's policy of nondiscrimination against gays and lesbians.

The Christian Legal Society (CLS) at the Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco was stripped of its registered student organization status at the college because it refused to allow gay and lesbian students to become voting members or officers of the group.

Under the Hastings nondiscrimination policy, student organizations must allow fellow students to join and potentially seek leadership positions in any organization without regard to their status or beliefs.

A statement of Christian faith

Starting in the 2004-2005 academic year, the CLS required prospective members to sign a statement of Christian faith. The statement includes a pledge that the undersigned student trusts in "Jesus Christ as my savior."

Prospective members must express belief in several religious tenets, including "one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." The statement includes a pledge of belief in the virgin birth, eternal life, Jesus' resurrection, a divinely created heaven and earth, and that the Bible is the inspired word of God.


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