School can expel lesbian students, court rules

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MisterMark, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. MisterMark

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    An appeals panel finds California Lutheran High School in Riverside County is not a business and therefore doesn't have to comply with a state law barring discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    By Maura Dolan
    January 28, 2009

    Reporting from San Francisco -- After a Lutheran school expelled two 16-year-old girls for having "a bond of intimacy" that was "characteristic of a lesbian relationship," the girls sued, contending the school had violated a state anti-discrimination law.

    In response to that suit, an appeals court decided this week that the private religious school was not a business and therefore did not have to comply with a state law that prohibits businesses from discriminating. A lawyer for the girls said Tuesday that he would ask the California Supreme Court to overturn the unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal.

    The appeals court called its decision "narrow," but lawyers on both sides of the case said it would protect private religious schools across California from such discrimination suits.

    Kirk D. Hanson, who represented the girls, said the "very troubling" ruling would permit private schools to discriminate against anyone, as long as the schools used their religious beliefs as justification.

    Full story: School can expel lesbian students, court rules - Los Angeles Times
     
  2. MisterMark

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    I've never understood it either, but unfortunately, there are still many who believe that being attracted to someone of the same sex is a choice and is "immoral".

    Although I'm convinced that we're born with our sexual orientation, many are not. On the other hand, I think the evidence is overwhelming that people aren't able to consciously choose which sex they're attracted to, so it seems asinine to punish those who act on same-sex attractions.

    It's just the same old garbage, I guess. It seems that most people think it's good to discriminate and tell others that some people are naturally "bad" because of who they are.

    At one time, these same people probably thought that left-handedness was caused by the Devil.
     
  3. D_evidence

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    agree with kotch, this is just fucked up what gives?
     
  4. koval

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    I read this over here in Ireland and can't believe a school would be permitted to do something like that. Although the private school was not a business per se and therefore is not required to obey state law in relation to discrimination I have one question.

    A private school would seek payment for the student's academic year in advance of term, so therefore by expelling the students would they not be in breach of contract (to educate them)? And we all know contracts are are used in business dealing.
     
  5. MH07

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    I am a liberal Democrat and I part the ways completely with my brethren (and sisters!) on this one.

    If you are a private institution, you have NO OBLIGATION to accept ANYONE for ANY REASON.

    That means, yes it does, that if you are the Boy Scouts and you don't want gays, you don't have to take them. If you are a church and you don't want to marry gays, you don't have to do so. If you are a private school, you do NOT have to comply with non-discrimination laws. Yes, that includes race too. (Of course, this also means that I, as a private citizen, do not have to support you in any way; I do not have to give you my money, my respect, my time and effort, or in any other way help you. It's why I never give the Salvation Army a damn dime---when they decide to come off their stance about gays, fine; until then, they can ring that bell till their arms fall off before I give them anything).

    Now, if you're an institution that is PUBLIC or DOING BUSINESS WITH THE PUBLIC, then no, you may absolutely not discriminate.

    That's one reason I think there ought to be a distinction between civil marraige and religious ceremonies. If you want to have some religious ceremony, fine, but marraige should be a civil situation and should be identical for gays and straights alike. That way, the CHURCH ceremony can be whatever that private church wants to do.

    The government needs to stay OUT of private institutions. Let them do what they want.

    Using the exact same logic, the private institutions need to stay OUT of government! That means, churches, sit down and shut up. You can't dictate to the society what the society will do with regard to marraige, abortion, or any other social issue. It is not your place. You may take your church and go sit in your corner and do as you please. If you choose to have multiple wives, have no gays, have no blacks, have no people who have brown eyes, or whatever, that is YOUR business---but don't try to foist your will off on the rest of us, either. Mormons, that means you just sit down and shut up. Baptists, sit down and shut up. Church of Christ, sit down and shut up.

    If this Lutheran school wants to expel lesbians, the lesbians involved should ask themselves this question: why on earth would you WANT to go to this institution??? Leave them alone with their stupid prejudices and find another institution that is more welcoming, and give them your money.
     
    #5 MH07, Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  6. B_Artful Dodger

    B_Artful Dodger New Member

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    Because the whole idea of Lutheranism is flawed. All Martin Luthers ideas were conflicting and make very little sence. Especially when used without bringing them into a modern day context as appears to have happened here.
     
  7. MisterMark

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    That's very idealistic, but I think we already tried that system in this country. Remember Jim Crow laws? I think you're saying that if a restaurant doesn't want to serve blacks or any other group, it should be legal to refuse to serve them based on their skin color or perceived ethnic background.

    I guess you're also okay with a business that displays a "Help Wanted" sign with a disclaimer that reads: "No Jews need apply".
     
  8. nudeyorker

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    No MisterMark you are not getting it. I'm not saying it is right. But a private school or a private country club or a private anything can say Fuck Off to whoever they want to.
     
  9. kalipygian

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    That principal is pretty offensive. Very strange that a private school could successfully claim to not be a business. A loophole in the legislation.

    That view is not general for Lutherans, there are welcoming congregations, some even perform marriages for same gender couples. Some friends of mine had a Holy Union performed in the local Lutheran church, by the father of one, who was the Pastor, in '80. There are also G/L ministers.
     
  10. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    That twinge in your intestines
    I predict that this thread will grind on for 6 pages and that nobody will come away from it edified in the least.

    I'm glad I live in a country where people are entitled to their opinions.
     
  11. MisterMark

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    I'm not getting what?

    A private "anything" can say "fuck off" to whoever they want? Really? Where? Because as far as I know, in California, businesses are not allowed to refuse service to anyone based on a number of characteristics, including sexual orientation, religion,, skin color, marital status, etc.
     
  12. MH07

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    You obviously missed:

    I think you just missed my point. If you're a restaurant or business open to the public, you can't discriminate.

    If you're a private organization, you can admit anybody you want or exclude anybody you want---gays, jews, blacks, hispanics, people with blue eyes, whatever. And frankly, that's ok.

    If you and I want to have a private club, and njqt466 wants to join, we get to tell her "no". It's that simple. It's OUR club, it's private, it's by invitation only, and if we choose not to invite her, we can so choose (we would invite you, njqt466).
     
  13. MH07

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    "

    It's not a "business", it's a private religious school (which are not-for-profit, and therefore not businesses), and private clubs in California most certainly CAN say "fuck off" to whoever they want, and it's perfectly legal. "Private" means "not open to the public". They can, are legally allowed to, and do tell anyone they want to fuck off.

    Or did my invitation to join the Bel Air Country Club get lost in the mail?
     
    #13 MH07, Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  14. MisterMark

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    Sorry. You're right. I did miss that.

    So, if a religion decides that it doesn't like people of African descent and then opens a school with a policy of "no blacks allowed", that would be legal in California? If not, then how would it be different from this particular case?
     
  15. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    Those are called "home schools". :D:D:D:D :biggrin:
     
  16. D_Chaumbrelayne_Copprehead

    D_Chaumbrelayne_Copprehead Account Disabled

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    Where I live, there are still private schools that are set up basically to keep your precious white children from having to go to school with black children. It's not illegal.

    It's expensive ... but it's not illegal. When I first got to town, this guy told me point blank that he wasn't crazy about spending all that money to get his kids taught, but he wasn't gonna force them to interact with n-----s.
     
  17. MH07

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    That is correct. If they want to exclude blacks, they can do it, because they are not public.

    I went to a private religion-based non-profit university in Texas (Baylor).

    Baylor had curfews on the girls' dorms, no curfews on the boys'. The Feds notified them that they had to cease and desist. Baylor filed suit in Federal Court and won, stating that they accepted no public (federal or state) funds and they could do as they pleased with their students.

    The Feds had the last laugh, so they thought: They notified Baylor that, while the UNIVERSITY accepted no state or federal funds, the STUDENTS did in terms of Pell Grants, NDSL's, and TEG's. The Feds stated that, if Baylor continued to treat the girls and boys differently, they would withhold all funding for student loans, research projects, etc.

    So Baylor slapped curfews on the boys.

    Bottom line: yes, you can do what you want as long as you are a private, church-based, non-profit institution. Another example: a church may kick anybody it wants OUT. If they want to kick out a person who is found to be gay, they can do it. If they want to deny membership to blacks, they can do it.

    Churches are afforded special treatment (they pay no taxes) in a variety of ways. They have to tread a thin line, because if the government thinks they are a "for profit" (even though they've filed "nonprofit"), the government can go after them. Several of the televangilists have found this out (but only one has been "gotten").

    This is a LUTHERAN school. They can kick the girls out. They don't have to take blacks, Jews, Fags (that would be me), or even Baptists.

    Now, if this were, say, in the LOS ANGELES SCHOOL DISTRICT, then there would be big, big trouble. But the LA school district wouldn't do it in the first place.
     
  18. MH07

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    That's the story across the entire south (and a big swath of the north, too, especially the midwest).

    Little Rock schools are 80% black. Houston's are split black/hispanic, with about 10% white. The white kids are all in private schools, whose tuition is as astronomical as college. OR (as in the case of Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta), the non-rich (middle-class) whites are all living in Sugar Land, Katy, Plano, Carrollton, Marietta, Alpharetta, etc.

    Hell, for that matter, how many white kids go to LOS ANGELES schools? Not many.
     
  19. JustAsking

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    Not exactly. ELCA Lutheranism is a very theologically liberal organization. They ordain women as ministers and Bishops and have a theology based on God's unconditional love and forgiveness. Many ELCA churches also participate in the LGBT advocate group called Lutheran's Concerned and list themselve as "Accepting" churches.

    This particular high school in the OP's article is run by one of two extremely fundamentalist sects of Lutheranism that split off quite a while ago. Not surprisingly, their beef with the mainstream denomination was over the standard laundry list of fundamentalists everywhere. Same sex marriage, abortion, the means to salvation by personal committment, etc.

    This particular sect is called the Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church and the other conservative sect is the Missouri Synod.

    The mainstream denomination is called The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, where in this case the term 'Evangelical' is the old traditional meaning, which is the act of spreading the word of God's unconditional love, Grace and forgiveness. This is the original meaning before the term was coopted by American conservative religious groups.
     
    #19 JustAsking, Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  20. HazelGod

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    Right on the mark, in all points.

    Repugnant as their position may be, I don't support the notion of a government forcing any private group to abandon their doctrine of self-segregation. SCOTUS agreed, as shown in the BSA decision.

    That said, if it comes to light that their organization receives a single dollar of public funds, then the picture changes immediately.


    The restaurant example doesn't apply, as those are businesses open to the general public. Now if I want to create a private supper club, then I'm completely free to admit or deny admittance to anyone based on whatever arbitrary criteria I desire.
     
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