We have to hope that the Supreme Court, led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, will reject Michael McConnell's oral argument on behalf of his client, the Christian Legal Society. Christian Legal Society believes that it is entitled to be a recognized student group at Hastings Law School even though it refuses to accept Hastings' "all-comers" policy that all official student organizations must be open to all students. Christian Legal Society refuses to admit students who practice a homosexual lifestyle because that lifestyle violates their Christian beliefs.
It is shrewd for McConnell to argue that CLS v. Martinez is a case about belief, because the Supreme Court has held that religious belief enjoys absolute protection. If the case is about belief, then CLS can do absolutely what it wants to. The Supreme Court has always held, however, that religious conduct is not absolutely protected. Therefore a religionist is absolutely free to believe he should sacrifice virgins to an angry god but not actually to sacrifice them. I think the Court should rule that discrimination against gays is not protected free exercise or free speech and rule for Hastings Law School.
In the oral argument at the Court, however, the wording turned on belief and status. McConnell argued that the all-comers policy is wrong because it violates all student groups' beliefs. Thus the Republicans' beliefs are violated if they have to admit Democrats and the Democrats' beliefs are violated if they have to admit Republicans. But what if the Republicans don't want to admit African-American students, and the Democrats don't want to admit women?