A California appeal court has ruled that a private Christian high school can expel or refuse admission to gay and lesbian pupils.

The California Lutheran High School in Wildomar was sued by two 16-year-old girl after they were expelled in 2005 for being lesbian.

The school claimed that the two un-named girls had an intimate bond “characteristic of a lesbian relationship.”

When Principal Gregory Bork questioned the girls on rumours about their relationship they admitted that they had kissed and hugged each other but only loved each other as friends.

Nevertheless, a month later he expelled them on the basis that the school’s policy is to refuse admission to gay and lesbian students.

The court said that the school was not a business and thus could be excluded from state laws prohibiting business from discriminating.

In the ruling, Justice Betty A. Richli wrote:

“The school’s religious message is inextricably intertwined with its secular functions. The whole purpose of sending one’s child to a religious school is to ensure that he or she learns even secular subjects within a religious framework.”

Kirk D. Hanson, the lawyer who represented the girls, told the Los Angeles Times that: “Basically, this decision gives private schools the license to discriminate.”

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