Does freedom of association give private organizations the right to discriminate on a religious basis?

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The Politicus
Jan 10, 2015 03:25 PM 0 Answers
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Freedom of association "is the right to join or leave groups of a person's own choosing, and for the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of members." The right is implicitly contained in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, i.e., the Bill of Rights. This right has been used by organizations, such at the Boy Scouts of America, to justify discrimination against both homosexuals and atheists.

My questions are:

  • Would this also allow a private organization to discriminate on a religious basis, e.g. could the Boy Scouts also prohibit Muslims, Scientologists, or Mormons from joining?
  • If so, are there any examples in which the right of private organizations to discriminate as such has been upheld in court?
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  • January 10, 2015