California University Sued for Discrimination Against Pro-Life Group

(Brendan Clarey, Liberty Headlines) The Alliance Defending Freedom on Wednesday sued California State University-San Marcos in support of a pro-life student group that claims the university’s funding policies are discriminatory.

Mike Adams/PHOTO: Facebook

The lawsuit alleges the university’s Students for Life chapter was denied funding for a pro-life speaker paid for by student fees, while many other organizations, such as the Gender Equity Center and the LGBQTA Pride Center, received large amounts of funding and hired speakers who support their viewpoints.

Nathan Apodaca, a student at CSU-San Marcos and president of that school’s Students for Life chapter, proposed to bring a speaker to campus who would represent their pro-life views. The intended speaker was Mike Adams, a professor at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, and a conservative and popular Townhall columnist.

Students at San Marcos must pay 75 dollars each semester to support student activities, according to the complaint filed by ADF. Apodaca applied for 500 dollars of this money to bring Adams to campus. He was denied the funding, while many other clubs were unquestioned in bringing speakers to campus that promoted their viewpoints. They asked ADF to get involved.

“Universities should encourage all students to participate in the free exchange of ideas, not concoct elaborate funding schemes to award their favored few with first-class status while denying even economy class to opposing views,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer in a press release on Thursday.

“California State University–San Marcos has spared no expense to fund the advocacy of its preferred student advocacy groups but denies funding for speakers from Students for Life and similar student groups,” Langhofer said. “The result is a two-track system by which the University compels some students to fund the speech of their peers with whom they may disagree, but prohibit those same students from using these funds to present a different viewpoint.”

The complaint details the ways that San Marcos allows some clubs to share their viewpoints but not others like Students for Life: “The Defendants apply the policy to allow the Gender Equity Center, the LGBTQA Pride Center, and the Arts & Lectures Series to use mandatory Student Activity Fees to pay for speakers to speak at their events on a variety of viewpoints including abortion, human sexuality, birth control, and exploitation of women, but forbid Students for Life at CSU-SM and other student organizations from using mandatory Student Activity Fees to pay for speakers to speak on those topics from a different viewpoint.”

ADF says the Gender Equity Center and the LGBTQA Pride Center together received $296,498 for the 2016-2017 school year, which is more than 21 percent of the money acquired through the student activity fees. Other student clubs, of which there are more than 100, only received $38,629, less than 3 percent of the money acquired from student fees.

Adams has been represented himself in the past by ADF, winning a lawsuit in 2014 after a seven-year legal battle against UNC-Wilmington, when the university had denied him a promotion to full professorship in 2006, because of his religious and conservative views.

Adams wrote for Townhall about the discrimination at CSU-San Marcos in a column published on Monday.

“This year the (university) administrators gave money to the [Gender Equity Center] to host ‘the ABC’s of LGBTQ: Queer Women’ and [a] so-called ‘Pleasure Party,’” Adams wrote. “The voluminous GEC spending on sex makes you wonder why they need a separate LGBQTA Center, which, not to be outdone, hosted ‘Kink 101.’ For those wondering, ‘Kink 101’ was an interactive workshop and discussion of bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism—and fetish-style practices.

“Talk about tying up your tax dollars!”