Legislative Alert – SB 1146 California

SB 1146 amends the California Education Code to eliminate any meaningful protection for religious colleges and universities to integrate faith into all aspects of campus life. It does so by applying broad anti-discrimination laws, including religious discrimination laws. Religious colleges may no longer be able to require faculty and students to uphold basic religious values. While the bill is vague it appears that employment decisions could not be based on religion, except for those teaching theology and religion.

SB 1146 also clarifies that there is a “private right of action,” i.e., the right to sue religious colleges and obtain not only damages, but injunctive relief. This means a court can order a religious school to hire unbelievers, to stop requiring students to attend worship, to stop requiring religion classes for students who object, etc.

This bill represents a threat to religious colleges and universities, many of which will be forced either to secularize or to shutter.

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