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31 Jan

Court: Christian School Can Expel Girls Over Alleged Lesbian Relationship

Court: Christian School Can Expel Girls Over Alleged Lesbian Relationship

Calif. Court Finds School Not Covered Under State Anti-Discrimination Law

By SCOTT MICHELS

Jan. 28, 2009

Full Article

A private Christian high school has the right to expel students who it believes are having a lesbian relationship, a California appeals court has ruled.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld California Lutheran High School’s right, as a private, religious organization, to exclude students based on sexual orientation.

A lawyer for two girls who were expelled said he would appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

“They’re giving private religious schools carte blanche to discriminate on any basis,” said Kirk Hanson, the lawyer for the two girls, who were identified in court papers only as Jane Doe and Jane Roe.

The appellate court found that the school was not considered a business under the state’s civil rights law, which bans discrimination by businesses, but not by private social or religious organizations. Anti-discrimination laws also apply to public schools.

The court relied on a 1998 California Supreme Court ruling that held that the Boy Scouts of America was a social organization that had the right to exclude gays and atheists.

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