Pro-Life Club Wins Victory at Canadian College

News: Life and Family
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by Aaron Maxwell  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 1, 2016   

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MANITOBA (ChurchMilitant.com) - A pro-life student club at Brandon University in Manitoba won back its club status after filing a lawsuit against the Brandon University Student Union (BUSU).

Tuesday, BUSU released a statement reversing its decision and announcing that SFL will be recognized as a student group for the 2016–17 school year.

The decision came after The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), an independent and nonpartisan group that advances the principles of freedom and equality through education and litigation, filed a lawsuit against the student union earlier this month. Students for Life alleged that BUSU had revoked its status last November but failed to inform them about it. The group was unaware of the revocation until January, when it was denied the right to set up an information table on campus.

Without club status, SFL would not be allowed to use meeting rooms unless it paid booking fees; it couldn’t take part in student club days; and it couldn't apply for club-event reimbursement or receive free access to other BUSU services.

Catherine Dubois, president of Brandon University Students for Life, said, "Our student union claims to serve students and support them in their efforts to share their passions and advocate for various causes."

She continued, "However, over the past four years our club has been repeatedly censored and denied these opportunities offered to every other student. We are tired and frustrated with being treated in such a discriminatory manner."

Dubois added, "It's kind of sad that it had to come to legal action, but I'm happy."

On January 29, 2016, Dubois and Communications Director Andrew Madill met with two executive members of the BUSU, Interim President Nick Brown and Vice President External Rhoni Mohanraj, to have them explain the reasons for their decision. The officials claimed that SFL had violated the Respectful Environment Policy by making students feel "uncomfortable"; that it was affiliated with an American pro-life group that is "anti-gay"; and that it was a redundant group because the LGBTQ Collective and Women's Collective and other student clubs at the university already addressed the issues of abortion and suicide.

During the meeting the officials said SFL could be reinstated if they "changed their views."

John Carpay, the president of the JCCF, commented, "It was quite clear the only reason why they removed this status was because the student union did not like, or did not agree with their opinions."

Carpay also said, "People need to realize that freedom of expression includes the right to say unpopular things and controversial things."

Moral ethics continue to be attacked in Canada. In May ChurchMilitant.com reported that the Ontario Human Rights Commission decided in favor of gender confusion, informing a school system it must cater to transgender boys and girls. This decision arose when a seven-year-old boy said he was a girl and wanted to use the girls' bathroom. When the school refused, his mother filed a complaint against the school, resulting in the school's backing down.

 

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