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USAToday: State universities can require clubs follow anti-bias rules


Zguy28

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State universities can require clubs follow anti-bias rules

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a state law school may refuse to recognize a religious student group that discriminates against gay students and non-Christians, in a 5-4 decision that could affect campuses nationwide.

Dividing along ideological lines with the liberals in control, the justices said that a public university may condition official recognition of a student group on the group's agreement to open membership to all students who want to join.

In an opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court rejected arguments that a religious organization could be exempt from school policy based on its First Amendment right to associate with members of its choosing. The court said state universities could require clubs to follow anti-bias rules, as long as those rules were neutrally written and did not target any particular organization.

Full article at link.

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I'm not sure where exactly I sit with this ruling. On one hand I understand the ruling from a non-discrimination policy view, but on the other, isn't it a form of discrimination against the folks who make up these groups? Is it a double standard?

Also, this excerpt puzzled me:

The case began with a Christian Legal Society chapter at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. In 2004, school officials declined to recognize the group — and provide funding, meeting space, and other privileges — based on the group's refusal to let gay students and non-Christians fully participate in the CLS chapter.

What is a religious organization/club doing receiving funding from a secular institution?

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No, it's not a double standard. The law says no discrimination, and that trumps an organization's predisposition to discriminate.

Perhaps they received funding because the University didn't feel it was right to discriminate against them.

~Bang

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In some cases, it can be a disappointing display of hypocrisy on the part of the club. Yes the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, but it also teaches not to place one sin above another. If a religious student group is refusing homosexual members while welcoming members who are engaging in premarital sex, stealing, cheating, etc., then they're not really furthering Jesus's message no matter how much they'd like to believe they are.

It seems to me that a club like that is probably better off not associating itself with the school in the first place. There's a lot more freedom that way. Do they gain any benefit other than a meeting room by being a club recognized by the school? They can always just meet someplace else unofficially.

Edit: Missed the funding part in the article. Religious or not, clubs ought to have to raise their own money, I think. I wouldn't want part of my tuition going to support a club I find objectionable.

Also, I'm all for people challenging their own views, but I don't find Kennedy's opinion a compelling argument in this particular context.

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In some cases, it can be a disappointing display of hypocrisy on the part of the club. Yes the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, but it also teaches not to place one sin above another. If a religious student group is refusing homosexual members while welcoming members who are engaging in premarital sex, stealing, cheating, etc., then they're not really furthering Jesus's message no matter how much they'd like to believe they are.

It seems to me that a club like that is probably better off not associating itself with the school in the first place. There's a lot more freedom that way. Do they gain any benefit other than a meeting room by being a club recognized by the school? They can always just meet someplace else unofficially.

Also, I'm all for people challenging their own views, but I don't find Kennedy's opinion a compelling argument in this particular context.

Well said. :1stplace:

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Edit: Missed the funding part in the article. Religious or not, clubs ought to have to raise their own money, I think. I wouldn't want part of my tuition going to support a club I find objectionable.

You mean like a soccer club. :)

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Having navigated these waters a few times from the student's point of view, it's perfectly reasonable.

The funding these student groups receive typically is collected via fees levied on the students themselves. The money doesn't just come from the state's general fund; it comes right from students' pockets at the beginning of the semester. To take money from Student 1 and then give it to Student 2's group, to be used to buy locks that bar the door to Student 1's involvement in that group, just isn't allowable at a public institution. And that's how it ought to be.

Even if the money comes from the state instead, it's still just not allowable. The fact that it often comes from students' pockets in the first place really underscores the point.

It's too bad that the decision came down to just one justice. This one ought to have been 9-0, or maybe 8-1 if Thomas fell asleep again.

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If it's a public school and the group receives funding and support from the school then the group cannot discriminate. If a group wants the be able to discriminate then they must forgo support and funding.

Does this now mean that??-

African American groups must allow white supremacists

Jewish groups must allow hamas, hezbollah and Al-queda followers

Gay groups must allow bible thumpers

Chess club must allow NAMBLA members

Democrats must allow Repubs

Repubs must allow Dems

Womens' groups must allow misogynists

Pro-life groups must allow pro-abort zealots

Pro-abort groups must allow pro-life zealots.

Is this really the take away from this ruling??

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Does this now mean that??-

:blahblah:

Is this really the take away from this ruling??

Yes. And by the way, that's the way it has been at state funded universities for decades and decades. This is nothing new.

I was once a member of UMD's Residence Halls Association (aka campus-wide dorm activities and campus lobbying group). In order to receive funding from the school, we actually had to have an elected position for COMMUTERS. In the Residence Hall Association. By pointedly excluding them, we were technically discriminating.

Of course, nobody ever even ran for that position. But it had to be offered as part of the group's architecture.

We could have told the school "screw you," and walked away from about $10,000 per year in funding. But that would have been incredibly stupid.

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If they want funding and public money...yes.

Remember, that money is public money.

I would prefer they ALL be self funded,with access to facilities governed by the non-discrimination rules.

Seems a use of funds that could be better directed elsewhere.

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I was in a couple clubs in college, and I don't remember receiving university funds. It was actually a significant problem for smaller clubs, in that there wasn't much money available unless your club was organized enough and committed enough to run a decent fundraiser.

I'm fine with that.

And your soccer example is cute Corcaigh, but intramural sports tend to be separate from student clubs from what I've seen. If students want to start another soccer club clearly there's nothing wrong with that, but why should the university fund it when they're already running an intramural program?

By the way, I think requiring clubs affiliated with the school to be open to all is the right thing to do. I'm just making a minor side point that I don't think they should be school funded.

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Does this now mean that??-

African American groups must allow white supremacists

Jewish groups must allow hamas, hezbollah and Al-queda followers

Gay groups must allow bible thumpers

Chess club must allow NAMBLA members

Democrats must allow Repubs

Repubs must allow Dems

Womens' groups must allow misogynists

Pro-life groups must allow pro-abort zealots

Pro-abort groups must allow pro-life zealots.

Is this really the take away from this ruling??

sorry to mellow your harsh, but this ruling only applies to groups which take public school's money/support, and only prevents them from violating the specific anti-descrimination policies of that public institution.

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I would prefer they ALL be self funded,with access to facilities governed by the non-discrimination rules.

Seems a use of funds that could be better directed elsewhere.

you're changing the subject just so you can find something to object to. this isn't a case about funding, it's about whether public funds can be used to descriminate.

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you're changing the subject just so you can find something to object to. this isn't a case about funding, it's about whether public funds can be used to descriminate.

You are trying to put the focus on only half the equation

Access and funding are both certainly relevant and are the control mechanisms.

NEITHER are a right and can constitute discrimination if applied unequally.

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sorry to mellow your harsh, but this ruling only applies to groups which take public money/support, and only prevents them from violating the specific anti-descrimination policies of that public institution.

So your point is that public universities can discriminate within itself and it's community if those are the implemented policies they institute?? IE the bible thumpers cannot discriminate against the gays but the African American groups can discriminate against the white supremacists if this is the standing policy of said "public" institution.

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I would prefer they ALL be self funded,with access to facilities governed by the non-discrimination rules.

I can't speak for all schools, but at the state schools with which I'm familiar, your model is pretty close to how it's actually done.

One of the "facilities" is a pool of money that essentially rations the usage of the actual, physical facilities, while funding those facilities at the same time.

Some of the money gets spent outside of the campus, never to return (in money form, anyway). But probably 90+% of the money just runs in a circle and comes back to the campus in the form of purchased copies, rented tables and function rooms, rented vehicles, etc. To spend the money outside of existing campus resources requires far more red tape than to use it at the bookstore, copy/print shops, dining services, etc. Most of the cash gets spent on these campus necessities, while its per-group scarcity forces student groups to choose their purchased resources wisely.

Those were my observations, anyway.

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aRedskin,

Are you really that thick?

Per this finding - if any state university group takes public money/support - they cannot discriminate.

End of story.

The End.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Get a clue thats' my point. GSD seems to not subscribe to that point of view.

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So your point is that public universities can discriminate within itself and it's community if those are the implemented policies they institute?? IE the bible thumpers cannot discriminate against the gays but the African American groups can discriminate against the white supremacists if this is the standing policy of said "public" institution.

a club that takes money from a school cannot violate that school's descrimination policies. where does the confusion come in?

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IE the bible thumpers cannot discriminate against the gays but the African American groups can discriminate against the white supremacists if this is the standing policy of said "public" institution.

Can you provide an example of a public university with a standing policy that says African Americans can discriminate against white supremacists?

I can't think of a single one.

And I'm no fan of what I've found to be insular, smug, self-serving, largely clueless public university administrators/staffers. (Anticipating objections: Yes, there are plenty of exceptions.)

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