supreme court has declined to hear a case of a man who was
kicked out of a Christian school four years ago for being
gay. Jeffrey Woodard's case was dismissed, with two of
the seven judges dissenting, ThePalm Beach Post reported Friday.
The short ruling
said the court would not rule on an issue that a
lower court considered a matter of great public importance.
The justices also said they would not hear the case
against Jupiter Christian School's chaplain, Todd
Bellhorn, who promised Woodard that he would keep his
sexual orientation a secret. Woodard, who was 17 at the
time, was expelled once administrators were told he is
attorney, William Booth, said the court's refusal to hear
the case should alert others who confide in clergy.
However, John Bryan, the school's attorney, said the
supreme court's intervention in the matter would
violate the separation of church and state. He also said
that Bellhorn is not a cleric and that Woodard was
openly gay to friends, which no longer made that
confidentiality is Woodard's," he told the Post.
"It's not the school's."
justice Barbara Pariente criticized her ruling colleagues,
saying the decision created confusion.
distress Woodard allegedly suffered as a result of the
school chaplain's breach of confidentiality is at least
equal to that typically suffered by the victim of a
defamation or an invasion of privacy," she wrote,
referring to those who have collected damages purely
for emotional distress, according to the article. (The