Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lesbians Can Be Expelled From Private Religious Schools

California's 4th District Court of Appeal in San Diego has upheld the right of a private Lutheran school to limit the enrollment of students whose conduct is inconsistent with the religious beliefs of the institution. The case represents the assertion of judicial protection of freedom of association.

Note this from the Los Angeles Times story:

In ruling in favor of the school, the appeals court cited a 1998 California Supreme Court decision that said the Boy Scouts of America was a social organization, not a business establishment, and therefore did not have to comply with the Unruh Civil Rights Act. That case also involved a discrimination complaint based on sexual orientation.

"The school's religious message is inextricably intertwined with its secular functions," wrote Justice Betty A. Richli for the appeals court. "The whole purpose of sending one's child to a religious school is to ensure that he or she learns even secular subjects within a religious framework."
On its face, the case seems a straightforward confirmation of the bedrock First Amendment guarantees. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan wrote for the majority in the precedent-setting Roberts v. United States Jaycees:

... the Court has concluded that choices to enter into and maintain certain intimate human relationships must be secured against undue intrusion by the State because of the role of such relationships in safeguarding the individual freedom that is central to our constitutional scheme. In this respect, freedom of association receives protection as a fundamental element of personal liberty ... The Constitution guarantees freedom of association of this kind as an indispensable means of preserving other individual liberties.
Despite such basic principles of human freedom, the response to the 4th District's ruling on the left has been entirely predictable. Freddie de Boer of the Extraordinary Bloggers has this:

Hey, why would someone like me be more invested in building a legal defense of gay marriage specifically and a larger lattice of rights to defend gay people generally? Why, maybe because of things like girls getting kicked out of their private high schools because the administration of said high school believes them to be lesbians.

This is why I am concerned with legality, rights and government first. Because right now, today, gay people are the subject of explicit, systematic discrimination. As we have said several times, these are of course connected phenomena, and I want to change both law and culture.
Notice the ultimate totalitarianism here, where Freddie wants to control both law and culture.

It's okay, though, right? That's expected of the
International ANSWER-sponsored progressive gay-rights steamroller. It's what's been going on all along since November 5th and the No on H8 Stalinism that has attacked, boycotted, and excoriated regular folks who expressed a legitimate policy preference at the polls, peaceably. The progressive nihilists want their culture war - and they want it now!, even if there's little substantive connection on the issues other than excessive emotion and juvenility.

Notice how Freddie's discussion at
the post is all about "discrimation" and "rights," but the rights discussed only favor the two lesbians who were expelled for behavior inappropiate to the norms and values inherent to a private sectarian educational establishment. Just forget the First Amendment rights of those "Christianists," naturally, those torture-loving bigots.

What's especially interesting is Freddie's spurious extrapolation to gay marriage. Gays do not face discrimination on questions of marriage.
Same-sex marriage is not a civil right, and has yet to be considered one in U.S. constitutional jurisprudence. Homosexuals are free to marry, in any case, as is everyone else. They cannot, however, simply strongarm their way to a same-sex right that society does not recognize nor want, for fear of cultural destabilization and anti-social licentiousnesss. Moreover, the plight of the two girls can hardly be taken as representing a larger social climate of intolerance toward gays. Poll after poll finds phenomenal support for equal treatment under the law, as Newsweek recently found:

Seventy-four percent back inheritance rights for gay domestic partners (compared to 60 percent in 2004), 73 percent approve of extending health insurance and other employee benefits to them (compared to 60 percent in 2004), 67 percent favor granting them Social Security benefits (compared to 55 percent in 2004) and 86 percent support hospital visitation rights (a question that wasn't asked four years ago). In other areas, too, respondents appeared increasingly tolerant. Fifty-three percent favor gay adoption rights (8 points more than in 2004), and 66 percent believe gays should be able to serve openly in the military (6 points more than in 2004).

The same poll found that just 31 percent "support FULL marriage rights for same-sex couples," to quote from the language from the questionnaire.

To gain said rights, secular progressives demand that the great majority of Americans capitulate to their coercion and hostility. And if they don't - as we've seen - marriage traditionalists involuntarily subject themselves to Soviet-style show trials and aggressive boycotts designed to stifle freedom of speech and association, which are exactly the same issues that the District court protected by ruling in favor of the Lutheran school.

As a red herring, the plaintiffs alleged that the school master sat too close to the girls during their questioning, "intimidating" the students in an "prurient fashion," although the court rejected such claims outright.
Pam Spaulding's playing this "abuse" angle in a classic leftist victimology shake-down grab. As for the Extraordinary Brotherhood of Traveling Bloggers, Freddie's post is one in a series labeled "Same Sex Marriage and Nomenclature," so no doubt we'll be seeing more jackbooted opposition to the traditional majority dripping like death from their page.

I'll have more on the august work from this extraordinary bunch, with special attention to the extra-extraordinary blog-master Mark Thompson, who was once considered a freedom-loving libertarian, but who now cheers the rationality of Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, and who has now apparently joined forces with a some ultra-orthodox gay-marriage ayatollahs who want to ram down cultural change on the rest of us.


cracker said...

I dont know Proffesor.....

expelling young, impressionable, lesbians from private schools...they'll be wondering the streets in their little school outfits, loosened ties, unbuttoned blouses, field hockey sticks dragging behind.....

It just seems rather harsh

Arlen Williams said...

That comment seems rather defiled and demented.

Average American said...

Well, I thought ccracker's comment was spot on--and funny.

I was a Boy Scout leader when that court case was going on. I really think the B.S.A. would have folded their program in California had that ruling gone the other way. The two issues the B.S.A. seemed to have to fight quite often were sexual questions, and religion, or lack of. We basically told United Way to stuff their money for similar reasoning.

Trish said...

BSA in Philadelphia were evicted from a house that they built on land they were given almost a century ago.

From the NYT;
For three years the Philadelphia council of the Boy Scouts of America held its ground. It resisted the city’s request to change its discriminatory policy toward gay people despite threats that if it did not do so, the city would evict the group from a municipal building where the Scouts have resided practically rent free since 1928.
And from the Stoptheaclu;
"You may be aware that the Philadelphia City Council recently told the Boy Scouts to leave their local headquarters building in the city unless they can pay market rent or change their membership policies. Even though the Scouts built the building 80 years ago and kept it up on city property deeded to them for $1 per year “in perpetuity,” the Scouts will probably be moving out of their building on May 31."

Enough is enough! Stop trying to change our way of life! If you want to start up an organization or school that accepts the gay lifestyle and think you can get enough support to do so, then by all means do it! Meanwhile, don't try to force your ways on everyone else!
And yes, I am all for the don't ask don't tell mentality. I don't want to know about your sexual preferences, and that includes heteros. Not interested! And don't want you forcing me to know about it.

repsac3 said...

I'm not crazy about a school expelling anyone "on suspicion," but I'm reasonably ok with private institutions being able to discriminate, as long as there are non-discriminatory alternatives. If there were no public schools, I'd be far more concerned. And yes Trish, there are a few gay friendly schools. Maybe there will be a few more, as a result of this ruling.

I feel the same about BSA, too. I left scouting myself back in 1978 or so, when one of my good friends was not so politely invited to go home from the week-long scout camp after admitting he was an atheist. He and 2 of his friends packed up & left within a few hours, never to return to scouting. BSA has every right to toss kids (and adults) out like that, but folks who're opposed to such discrimination have every right not to support them with good words or public money, in return. And again, there are non-discriminatory alternatives:

"Other youth organizations do not have policies that exclude homosexuals and atheists, and are coeducational, such as Camp Fire USA, SpiralScouts International, 4-H, and the BSA's Learning for Life program."

As for announcing sexual preferences, according to the story, these two girls didn't (rather, it was a third student who told a teacher that she had suspicions about them), and they just wanted to be left alone. (To me, that's the saddest part of the story... Neither girl said they were gay, and the school had no proof they were, either. Another example of preemptive action, on the off chance the rumors were right. At least it didn't result in a war, this time...)

shoprat said...

Private institutions should be allowed to discriminate as they see fit. If a private school wishes to expel all Bible Believing Christians it is their right as well. And as long as they also receive zero public funding when they do.

JBW said...

I agree that any private organization has the right to deny membership for whatever reason they choose, as long as they aren't being publicly subsidized.

But on a more important note: I still can't get the image of those lost, vulnerable schoolgirls out of my mind. Is this an example of me forcing my sexual preferences on everyone else? I hope so.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

JBW I think you've seen one to many Brittany Spears videos...

JBW said...

VAG, I would say that I've seen just enough. I'm just glad she did the whole "naughty schoolgirl" thing before she went all shaved-head crazy on us. I also predict that we'll be reading police dossiers for each of her kids on TMZ someday.

Average American said...

Even though the Scouts built the building 80 years ago and kept it up on city property deeded to them for $1 per year “in perpetuity,” the Scouts will probably be moving out of their building on May 31."

How can the city kick them out if they have a legal agreement?

repsac3 said...

How can the city kick them out if they have a legal agreement?

Their discriminatory actions go against the City of Philadelphia's charter and at least one city ordinance.

Gay News Blog: Philadelphia City Council Ousts Boy Scouts Over Anti-Gay Policies:

The resolution states, "'The City of Philadelphia's Home Rule Charter and the City's Fair Practices Ordinance reflect broad City policy abhorring discrimination and the Boy Scouts' policy and conduct is directly contrary to the principles of equal access and opportunity enshrined in Philadelphia law....[T]he City's ongoing subsidy of a discriminatory organization through the allowance of free use of a building is directly contrary to the City's policy and practice of refusing to support discrimination, and of ensuring non-discriminatory access to City benefits.'"

Average American said...

Repsac, if the Boy Scouts built the building and if they have a legal agreement 'city property deeded to them for $1 per year “in perpetuity,”',, then it would seem to me that the city does not really have a leg to stand on. The lawyers will have a field day with this.

repsac3 said...

The lawyers are, AA... ...on both sides.

The problem is, it's one Philadelphia City Council against another... One said the Boy Scouts could get a very good deal on leasing a particular piece of land forever, and another one said the city would not be a party to discrimination, including on the basis of sexual preference. By allowing the Boy Scouts to pay a dollar a year for the land lease, they are a party to that discrimination. (While the end result is the same, the Boy Scouts aren't being kicked out. They're being asked to pay fair market value for the land lease, same as everyone else who leases land from the city.)

I could be a wiseass toss out the cannard that they have every right to stay, as long as they are willing to pay the cost, or stop discriminating against gays & atheists (shades of "Gays can marry, as long as they marry members of the opposite gender"), but that kinda reasoning is foolish no matter who says it.

I have no real dog, here... I'd hate to see kids put out, and I do think the Boy Scouts have every right to maintain a set of values, even if I don't agree with some of 'em; but I also support those state & local governments who've made rules opposing discrimination, whoever the target.

I'd like to see the parties work something out myself, whether it's a sliding scale payment plan or a nice church who's willing to give the Boy Scouts land. Once either side starts making concessions that go against their values, they open the floodgates for further lawsuits and diminished worth within the communities each represents.

JBW said...

repsac3, you nihilistic bastard; Don warned me about you and your unrepentant unreasonableness. It's crazy statements like those above that make it necessary to dismiss your views at the outset of any debate. I hope you're happy with yourself.

Average American said...

Repsac, I have seen some of your posts that I vehemently disagreed with, but don't listen to JBW, your above comment was well done. We aren't exactly on the same side of the fence, but, close enough, and thank you for the explanation.

It sounds like we have similar views concerning lawyers.

JBW said...

Uh, AA? That was sarcasm, sweetpea. Either I'm even smoother than I thought (impossible, I know) or you are one of the most tone-deaf right-wingers I've ever even thought about agreeing with at times.

In short: I like you and what you say, even when you disagree with me. But come on, guy: I was "doing" Don and his whole "You're a lefty nihilist who hates personal property and probably wants to fellate Karl Marx" persona.

I know we're funny on the left but we don't have a monopoly on humor, do we?

Oh, and uh: screw all the lawyers.