The ACLU’s support of a legal precedent used to gain recognition of a student homosexual group has reversed now that the ruling is being used to back the rights of a Christian club on campus, claims a public-interest law firm.
The Associated Student Body at Kentridge High School in Kent, Wash., has rejected the Truth Bible Club because it required all members to adhere to a code of Christian conduct and voting members to sign a statement of faith. Also, the name of the club was deemed “offensive” and “proselytizes.”
The case is governed by the Equal Access Act, a federal statute that requires schools to treat student clubs equally, notes the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, which is defending the Truth Bible Club.
In Prince v. Jacoby, ADF argues, the Ninth Circuit held that denying official sponsorship of a club violates the Equal Access Act.
ADF points out that in 2003, shortly after Prince v. Jacoby was decided, the ACLU sent an information letter to school officials in Washington state explaining the case “makes it clear that student clubs promoting tolerance for gay students are entitled to the same resources as other clubs.”
But now, the ACLU has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Truth case that takes the opposite position.
The ACLU now wants to strike down the Prince case if it will be used to allow a Bible club on campus, the ADF’s Tim Chandler told WorldNetDaily.
“This goes to show how far the ACLU will manipulate the legal system to further their radical agenda,” said Chandler, a litigation specialist who is working on the case.
“They are backtracking,” Chandler said. “They used these laws to get what they wanted – equal rights for the gay-straight alliance – and now that they’ve gotten that, they want to retriact it so the Bible club doesn’t get the same benefits.”
An ACLU of Washington lawyer did not respond to WND for comment by press time.
The ACLU argues that the Equal Access Act only requires schools to allow clubs to meet on campus but does not require them to have equal access to all other benefits, such as funding and yearbook recognition.
The ACLU insists Prince should be overruled to avoid giving Truth any benefits beyond the right to meet on campus.
ADF spokesman Greg Scott said Truth applied for ASB status three times and was rejected each time. After numerous requests and demand letters to the principal and district counsel went without response, ADF filed suit.
ASB status is required to receive funding from the school, recognition in the yearbook, and access to the public address system and other forms of on-campus advertising. Non-ASB groups are permitted to meet on campus during non-instructional time, but cannot receive any other benefits.
Scott notes that in the Prince case, the successful petitioners were part of a religious club seeking Equal Access.
“The ACLU is obviously engaged in religious bigotry – in cases concerning homosexual groups, they argue that Prince fully applies, but now, when it clearly applies, using the ACLU’s own standard, to a religious club, they are seeking to overturn the Prince decision,” he said.