Saturday, May 2, 2009

CA Supreme Court: Private Religious Schools Can Expel Lesbians

On April 29, 2009 the California Supreme Court by a 6-1 vote, over the objections of Justice Katheryn Mickle Werdegar, refused to hear the appeal of an appellate court's ruling that held private religious schools can discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. The State Supreme Court's decision let stand a Fourth District Court of Appeals of San Bernardino January 2009 ruling that maintained California's anti-discrimination law did not apply to private religious schools.  These institutions were not primarily business establishments covered by the statute, the appellate court maintained. The 1959 Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination by businesses, was expanded in 2005 to include actual or perceived sexual orientation. Previously, the State Supreme Court had protected the right of the Boy Scouts to exclude gays and atheists. Other laws ban anti-gay discrimination in California public schools. One of the girls at the school was reported to a school pastor by another student who viewed a posting on MySpace. Case cite: Doe vs. Lutheran High, S171078 (2009). 
Legal Recorder
Full Text Court of Appeals Ruling
California Lutheran School Mission Statement
Unruh Civil Rights Act Cal. Civ. Code § 51
§ 51.  Citation of section; Civil rights of persons in business establishments (edited)
(b) All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.

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