Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christian student group denied for discriminatory membership policies

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According to an article published by, California State University, San Bernardino has denied a Christian student group to form on the basis that it denies membership to gays and non-Christians. The university denied the request for the Christian Student Association to form under state law which prohibits student groups from excluding students based on religion or sexual orientation. The group's constitution included a statement on sexual morality and required members and officers to be Christian. According to the article:
"We are not permitted to charter them under Title V," said Christine Hansen, director of student leadership and development in the office of Student Affairs. She was referring to a section of the state education code. Ryan Sorba, who tried to form the association, accused the university of discriminating against Christians. "This is about whether or not the First Amendment is allowed to exist at Cal State San Bernardino and whether or not Christians are allowed to exist," Sorba, 23, who also is president of the College Republicans, said Monday.
The student organizer of the group, Ryan Sorba, has caused anti-gay controversy before, by using the College Republicans' name on anti-gay signs and through coordinating an "affirmative action bake sale" in which minorities were offered goodies at a lower price. Similar controversy over Christian student groups and their exclusionary membership policies have played out across California at other state universites. The Alliance Defense Fund has often been the group to defend such groups in legal battles. In the 2004-2005 academic year, the Alliance Defense Fund also helped to recognize a Christian fraternity which had originally been denied affiliation at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The group eventually won affiliation. Technorati Tags: , , , , ,