Georgia Tech’s student government refused to provide funds for a pro-life student club’s event because the invited speaker is “inherently religious.” That speaker is pro-lifer Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Students for Life’s legal counsel, reported that all students at the school pay a mandatory student activity fee for funding other organizations’ events. After being refused funds for the event with King, Students for Life filed a federal lawsuit against the school.
ADF reported that Georgia Tech has agreed to settle the lawsuit. An excerpt (emphasis added):
Georgia Tech has agreed to change the unconstitutional policies that allowed its student government to deny funding for a speaking event featuring Alveda King, the niece of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., because she is “inherently religious.” As part of a settlement ending a federal lawsuit Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed on behalf of the campus chapter of Students for Life, the university agreed to revise its policies to treat all student organizations fairly, regardless of viewpoint, and to pay $50,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees.
ADF lawyer Caleb Dalton said universities that accept taxpayers’ money “are supposed to welcome diverse viewpoints and can’t treat some student groups worse than others simply because they disagree with what the students have to say.”
Dalton noted the irony: under the previous standard, Georgia Tech’s student government would’ve also refused to fund an event featuring Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Courageous student leaders across the nation face real opposition from their schools because they choose to stand up for the defenseless and peacefully educate their fellow students about protecting the preborn,” president of the national Students for Life organization Kristan Hawkins said. “The Constitution is clear that public universities can’t discriminate against students for their political or religious beliefs, and we are hopeful that Georgia Tech’s decisive policy changes will set an example for universities around the country to uphold all students’ constitutional rights.”
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