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UC Hastings Law School Student Group Heads to Supreme Court

By Neetal Parekh on December 07, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Who says graduate school is all theory and no practice.  Students involved in a Christian student group at the University of California Hastings School of Law (UC Hastings) are taking what they learned about the First Amendment in Con Law straight to court. 

The Christian Legal Society invites all students to attend meetings but restricts the designation of voting members and club officers to students who sign a "Statement of Faith" which includes language affirming the belief that "Christians should not engage in sexual conduct outside of a marriage between a man and a woman."

And the argument?

The Christian Legal Society alleges that UC Hastings, a public university, violated the First Amendment right to free speech by refusing to recognize the organization, which restricts involvement of individuals who are not heterosexual or who do not believe in the Christian Faith.

Where is the case now?

With a nod from the Supreme Court, the case is headed to the highest court for review.  The Supreme Court will be examining whether UC Hasting's policy of requiring open membership for all organizations is violative of the country's Constitution.

Irony in unlikely places...

Considering that San Francisco has long been a central mobilization point for gay rights issues, it doesn't escape irony that this case has found its way to Supreme Court from the same city that elected the nation's first openly gay elected official. 

It may be enough to make the inaugural Harvey Milk Day on May 22nd 2010, a little more colorful.

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