Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against California State University–San Marcos officials on behalf of a pro-life student organization and its campus president, Nathan Apodaca, who are prevented from bringing pro-life speakers to campus under the university’s discriminatory funding policies. The university funds pro-abortion and other favored views with almost $300,000 in mandatory fees charged of Mr. Apodaca and all students, but denied Students for Life $500 in funding to host a visiting speaker on “Abortion and Human Equality” to provide a contrasting view.
CSU–San Marcos has more than 100 recognized student groups. Although the university says that it prohibits any of those groups from spending activity fee grants on expenses to bring speakers to campus, the Gender Equity Center and the LGBQTA Pride Center enjoy preferential status, and as such, are exempt from that rule and the standard $500 cap. In the 2016-2017 academic year, those two “centers” received a combined $296,498 for speech and expressive activities —more than 21 percent of all mandatory student activity fees the programming board received for that year—compared to only $38,629 for the more than 100 other groups combined (less than 3 percent). This year the GEC hosted the ABC’s of LGBTQ: Queer Women and the so-called “Pleasure Party.” The LGBQTA Pride Center hosted “Kink 101”—which was an interactive workshop and discussion of bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism—and fetish-style practices. These and the centers’ other advocacy events were funded exclusively from mandatory student fees.
Earlier this year, Students for Life applied for a $500 “Leadership Funding” grant to host pro-life speaker and University of North Carolina–Wilmington Professor Mike Adams to provide an alternative view. Student groups like SFLA may receive only $500 per semester.
Although Apodaca, like other Students for Life members, paid the same mandatory student activity fees that all students pay as a condition of enrollment, he and his pro-life peers are denied equal access to those fees to bring Adams to campus. Instead, the Gender Equity Center and the LGBQTA Pride Center receive the lion share of funding available for student advocacy and may use those funds to bring speakers to advocate for these officially preferred views.
Full story at Alliance Defending Freedom.