A small group of Christian students at Exeter University are going to court to try to set a legal precedent about acceptance of gay rights.

The Christian Union has been prevented from using facilities at the university because they ban gay or lesbian students from joining their organisation.

“Legal action was the very last thing we wanted to take,” a Union spokesman told The Daily Mail.

“We are all students trying to concentrate on our studies, but the action by the Guild, in blatant infringement of our rights, and their reluctance to reinstate us, has left us with no alternative.”

The Exeter students are taking their case to the High Court in what could be a key judgement on the right of student unions to impose acceptance of LGBT people on student societies.

Recently the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, criticised student unions for barring homophobic groups, claiming it was an attack on free speech.

There have been similar clashes at universities in major cities across the UK.

Exeter University Students’ Guild website has a statement which states, “Students felt that as students fund our societies and as our equal opportunities policy states, all activities should be open to all students.

“This is certainly not a debate regarding the beliefs of the society, it is one of equal opportunities.”