Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a multistate coalition led by Montana in support of religious liberty in Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. San Jose Unified School District, in the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In this case, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) allows all students to attend meetings, but requires leadership to affirm statements of faith, which includes traditional views on marriage. As a result, in 2019, teachers started a campaign to push the group off campus, leading the district to revoke FCA’s club status due to a district-wide non-discrimination policy—a direct violation of both the Free Exercise Clause and the Free Speech Clause.
“Non-discrimination laws can serve an admirable goal,” the brief states. “But government officials often weaponize these non-discrimination laws to target religious groups. In the school setting, these non-discrimination laws—by their own terms—threaten to eliminate most affinity groups that form to advance specific, unique interests. The fact that affinity groups exist, though, indicates that these non-discrimination laws often (and necessarily) apply inconsistently. That’s how these nondiscrimination laws become, in fact, discriminatory—they permit government officials to enforce them against groups those officials find objectionable, like religious groups.”
Read the Amicus Brief here.