Lutheran High School in California expelled two teen girls for “a bond of intimacy” they deemed “characteristic of a lesbian relationship” and “conducting themselves in a manner consistent with being lesbians.”
When the 16-year-olds sued, the 4th District Court of Appeal in California unanimously sided with the school.
From the LA Times:
In response to that suit, an appeals court decided this week that the private religious school was not a business and therefore did not have to comply with a state law that prohibits businesses from discriminating.
…John McKay, who represented the Riverside County-based California Lutheran High School, said the ruling correctly acknowledged that the school’s purpose was to “teach Christian values in a Christian setting pursuant to a Christian code of conduct.”
The girls never actually revealed whether they are lesbians or not. All that is now necessary is a suspicion of gayness for a private school to legally kick a student out. Myspace pictures of the girls hugging and the report of one student who had heard that one girl “loved” the other were the pieces of evidence that inspired suspicions in their principal’s mind.
So now will students have to scramble to prove their straightness in order to prevent expulsion? What about schools ran by religious groups who discriminate based on race, like fundamentalist Mormonism? Could they expel or deny admittance to black students under this ruling? Or is sexual orientation the only class for which the government will sanction a special right to religious discrimination?
Lawyer McKay’s “Christian code of conduct” quote makes me want to barf.