The Christian Legal Society (CLS), a college club for law students, discriminates against homosexuals. OK, that’s their right. But when they want other students to financially support them through student fees, they cross a line that should not be crossed.
The first amendment allows for all kinds of bias and discrimination, but it doesn’t obligate others to pay for it. Yet that is what the CLS is arguing before the Supreme Court in its case against University of California’s Hastings College of Law. Hastings refused to fund CLS because it violated the college’s policy that student groups funded by student fees levied on all students must be open to all students. Since CLS isn’t open to homosexuals, student fees cannot fund it.
Supporters of CLS argue that this would force the group to let homosexuals join, and, if they have the numbers, take over. This is nonsense. The college didn’t say the group has to admit homosexuals, it just said it won’t use student funds to support student groups that discriminate against some students. Do what you want, just don’t expect the rest of us to pay for it.
Most likely the Supremes will complicate the issue so as to either avoid ruling meaningfully, or to force Hastings to use student monies to fund CLS, hence forcing gay students to pay for their own discrimination. But the issue is really quite simple: you can form whatever clubs you want; just don’t make everyone pay for it. Student fees should go to support only those student clubs open to all students.
For example, Jewish clubs that restrict membership or leadership to Jews are fine; just don’t make nonJews pay for them. Anti-Semitic groups that refuse to accept Jewish members are kosher; just don’t make Jews pay for them. If students in restricted clubs can’t raise the funds to support their clubs, then those clubs will fail. It is called the free market.
Why is it that conservatives like the Christian Legal Society only like capitalism when it favors them?