A US judge has backed a college’s policy blocking funding and recognition to a Christian student group which bans gays, lesbians and non Christians.

District Judge Jeffrey White ruled in favour of UC Hastings College of Law yesterday in a dispute with the Christian Legal Society at the school.

The society claims that the refusal violates freedom of speech and religion, but Mr White said the policy “regulates conduct, not speech.”

According to the judge, the policy “affects what the society must do if it wants to become a registered student organisation, not engage in discrimination, not what the society may or may not say regarding its beliefs.”

Yesterday’s ruling is the first in a series of suits by the Christian Legal Society and affiliated groups at various universities in America.

The decision can be appealed.