The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from Christian groups that challenged a discrimination policy at California state universities.
The justices on Monday are leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling that found that the policy doesn’t violate the Constitution. The policy says officially recognized campus groups can’t discriminate based on religion or sexual orientation.
A Christian fraternity and a sorority at San Diego State University sued in 2005, arguing that the policy violates their religious freedom. The groups are restricted to Christian members.
The San Francisco Chronicle offers these details:
CSU denies official recognition and funding to student organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin and sexual orientation.
The Christian groups at San Diego State argued that the policy itself was discriminatory for two reasons: The ban on gender-based admissions doesn’t apply to sororities and fraternities, and secular organizations are allowed to make viewpoint-based distinctions – an immigrants’-rights group, for example, can exclude opponents of immigrants’ rights and still receive funding.
“The university did not tell the Democratic club it must be led by a Republican, or the vegetarian club it must be led by a meat-eater, but it did tell Christian groups that they must allow themselves to be led by atheists,” David Cortman of the Alliance Defense Fund, a lawyer for the religious groups, said Monday.
The case is Alpha Delta Chi-Delta Chapter v. Reed, 11-744.