School Club for Christian Students Wins Right to Openly Oppose Homosexuality


The right of several California high schoolers to require that members of a Christian club align with the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality was protected by a federal court last week.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Pioneer High School in San Jose must be allowed to require members sign a “sexual purity” statement affirming that they uphold Christian sexual ethics, including the belief that homosexuality is immoral.

The latter point resulted in the FCA losing its official recognition in 2019 when a teacher first raised an objection to its “sexual purity” statement, The Christian Post reported.

The statement reads, “God desires His children to lead pure lives of holiness,” also emphasizing the biblical doctrine that “the appropriate place for sexual expression is in the context of the marriage relationship” and that “the biblical definition of marriage is one man and one woman in a lifelong commitment.”

“While upholding God’s standard of holiness, FCA strongly affirms God’s love and redemptive power in the individual who chooses to follow Him. FCA’s desire is to encourage individuals to trust in Jesus and turn away from any impure lifestyle,” it concluded.

Judge Kenneth Lee wrote in his decision that Pioneer High School violated the students’ First Amendment rights when it revoked the official club status of the FCA.

“Under the First Amendment, our government must be scrupulously neutral when it comes to religion: It cannot treat religious groups worse than comparable secular ones,” Lee, an appointee of President Donald Trump, wrote. “But the School District did just that.”

Although the FCA had existed on campus for over ten years prior to losing its official status as a club, social studies teacher Peter Glasser became aware in 2019 of its purity statement and statement of faith and raised concerns with fellow staffers.

Glasser believed that the clubs “views on LGBTQ+ identity infringe on the rights of others in my community to feel safe and enfranchised on their own campus, even infringing on their very rights to exist,” views which his colleagues apparently shared.

The FCA continued to operate on campus despite being demoted in status, but its members experienced hostility from peers and staffers alike and ultimately filed a lawsuit alleging First Amendment violations and seeking an injunction requiring that the school restore the group’s official status.

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