Carleton University’s student council voted today to ban resource allocation towards pro-life groups by a not-very-narrow margin, one member of the council arguing that ‘[the] campus is supposed to be about human rights, diversity, mutual respect. Well, there isn’t respect when you want to throw women into jail for choosing abortion.’ I’m inclined to suggest that believing in human rights and diversity also implies accepting diffferent points of view from what the majority of your members may believe; it’s fundamentally inconsistent and hypocritical to argue for human rights, and then deny the most most basic and fundamental political right (free speech) under that guise. The resolution as worded will prevent pro-life groups from using space allocatred by the student’s association, receiving funds that go to student groups or even any type of recognition from the association. The result is that debate on campus will be suppressed. This move is discriminatory towards pro-life groups.
Eugene Volokh discusses this and brings up a point that’s relevant: all Carleton students are automatically enrolled in the association and pay fees on the assumption that it will allocate access to university property fairly. If it were a private organization, it would be entitled to allocate resources however it wishes. Since it is student (and possibly government) funded, it should not be allowed to discriminate against those with whom its members disagree.
Funny how invoking diversity and human rights can cause one to violate those very principles.