Let's Stand in Prayer with the Christian Legal Society for the Freedoms of Expression, Religious Free Exercise and Association

An Advocates International Advocacy Briefing           
April 18, 2010
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The case concerns UC Hastings College of the Law's refusal to recognize the Christian Legal Society (CLS) as a registered student group. Hastings based its refusal on the fact that even though all students may attend and participate in CLS meetings and activities, voting members and group leaders must sign a "Statement of Faith" that expresses belief in CLS' particular religious worldview.

At issue is a provision stating that "[a] person who advocates or unrepentantly engages in sexual conduct outside of marriage between a man and a woman is not considered to be living consistently with the Statement of Faith and, therefore, is not eligible for leadership or voting membership." The statement clarifies that "[a] person's mere experience of same-sex or opposite-sex sexual attraction does not determine his or her eligibility for leadership or voting membership." Hastings argues that this provision violates the university's ban on "sexual orientation" discrimination, despite the fact that the provision conditions membership on changeable conduct and belief, not immutable status.

Hastings' restriction on freedom of association was eventually found constitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the ground that the policy was viewpoint neutral and applied equally to all student groups, even though in practice it prevented only one group, CLS, from existing with equal (or any) recognition on campus.

Calling all Advocates

We are looking to identify, train, equip and mobilize advocates,like you, all over the world who are inspired by our core values and want to protect and defend religious freedom, the rule of law, the right to life, peace and reconcilation, human rights and justice for the poor.  You can join with us by going to our web site and signing on!  Thanks.

Let's Stand in Prayer with the Christian Legal Society for the Freedoms of Expression, Religious Free Exercise and Association


The United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments tomorrow in a case to decide whether a government 'non-discrimination policy' being imposed by the University of California's Hastings College of Law to exclude recognition of Christian Legal Society's (CLS) law student organization at the school, on the basis of CLS' Statement of Christian Faith, constitutes a discriminatory and unconstitutional deprivation of law students rights of free expression, religious free exercise and association.

A serious concern of Advocates International (AI), its six regional networks and 100 national affiliates is the growing worldwide government denial of the fundamental rights of freedom of speech, associationand religion in cases analogous to this one where private religious fellowships who otherwise pose no threat to public health or safety, like the CLS Law Student Chapter in this case, are discriminatorily denied registration or recognition because of their disfavored religious beliefs, ideals or commitments.

What Can you Do?

You can make a difference. You can pray. You can give to help defray the costs AI incurred to write, print and file its "friend of the court" brief in support of the Christian Legal Society (CLS). You can share CLS' story with others and start a similar organization on your law school campus, if one does not already exist.

Stanford Constitutional Law Professor, Michael McConnell, will argue CLS' case before the United States Supreme Court  tomorrow, April 19, 2010 at 10:00 am EDT.

For the next day leading up to this court hearing and thereafter until the Court issues its decision, we request your daily prayers for Professor McConnell and for the United States Supreme Court.

Please pray for law student organizations, like CLS, all over the world that they will be inspired to bear witness to their faith, doing justice with compassion, redeeming the times,  not only in the class room and on campus, but in all they do in the study and practice of law.


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        AI is not a recipient of government funding and is solely dependent upon the financial contributions of those who believe in its mission, thereby enabling it to serve "clients" ranging from heads of state seeking to implement constitutional reforms to persecuted and imprisoned believers sentenced to death for their faith. We are most grateful and thank you for whatever financial support or voluntary service you can provide in support of AI's mission. Here's how you can help: (more)

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