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School District Must Recognize Christian Club Opposed to Gay Marriage

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Reuters. At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the district adopted an “all-comers” policy, which requires that officially recognized clubs must allow any currently enrolled student to participate in, become a member of, or hold leadership positions within the club, regardless of their status or beliefs.

Yet FCA would still not be recognized under such a policy, because it would prohibit them from selecting leaders who agree with the club’s stated religious beliefs.

U.S. Circuit Judge Kenneth Lee, writing for the majority, found that the San Jose Unified School District selectively enforced its policy by singling out FCA while allowing other, secular student groups, such as a “Girls Who Code” club that bars boys, to discriminate against prospective members.Lee said that FCA was likely to succeed in establishing the school’s policy violated FCA and the student members’ rights, and that a lower court judge wrongly denied a request for an injunction blocking the school from barring FCA from campus or denying it access to the same type of resources offered to other clubs.“Under the First Amendment, our government must be scrupulously neutral when it comes to religion: It cannot treat religious groups worse than comparable secular ones,” Lee wrote. “But the School District did just that.” In addition to ordering the lower court to issue an order reinstating FCA’s status as an officially recognized club, Lee also penned a concurrence to the majority opinion highlighting comments by various teachers revealing “animus” towards FCA and its members, even though the teachers in question were not involved in the decision to revoke FCA’s status.“The School District is incorrect that our animus inquiry must be strictly limited.

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