Supreme Court’s Refusal of Case May Facilitate Discrimination Against Christian Group

By:  Dave Bohon
03/23/2012
       
Supreme Court’s Refusal of Case May Facilitate Discrimination Against Christian Group

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined a religious discrimination case filed by a pair of Christian groups at San Diego State University. In 2005 Alpha Delta Chi, a Christian sorority at the school, and Alpha Gamma Omega-Epsilon, a Christian fraternity, challenged the university’s “non-discrimination” policy requiring that in order to receive campus recognition and funding, Christian student groups could not require members to sign a statement of faith — a rule the groups contend opens the door for individuals with non-Christian views to hold leadership positions.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined a religious discrimination case filed by a pair of Christian groups at San Diego State University. In 2005 Alpha Delta Chi, a Christian sorority at the school, and Alpha Gamma Omega-Epsilon, a Christian fraternity, challenged the university’s “non-discrimination” policy requiring that in order to receive campus recognition and funding, Christian student groups could not require members to sign a statement of faith — a rule the groups contend opens the door for individuals with non-Christian views to hold leadership positions.

While a lower court agreed with the groups’ charge that the policy trampled their constitutionally protected religious freedom, in 2011 that ruling was overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a decision the High Court declined to reconsider.
 
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) noted that while San Diego State prohibits campus Christian organizations from requiring statements of faith for their members and leadership, it allows other student organizations to require members and leaders to agree with the viewpoints those groups advocate.
 
“Public universities should encourage, not censor, the free exchange of ideas,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “But for now, the supposed marketplace of ideas at San Diego State University will remain a stronghold for censorship. We wish the Supreme Court would have used this opportunity to make clear that the First Amendment protects the right of student groups to employ belief-based criteria in selecting their members and leaders.”

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