Pro-life student group sues Scottish university for alleged discrimination

Catholic News Agency | 4/16/2019 | Staff
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Aberdeen, Scotland, Apr 16, 2019 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- A pro-life student group at the University of Aberdeen filed a lawsuit Friday against the university and its student association after it was blocked from affiliating because of its pro-life stance.

In October the Aberdeen University Students' Association prevented the affiliation of the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society, citing its own pro-choice policy. The move limits Ale's access to funds and venues at the university.

Ales - Suit - Aberdeen - Sheriff - Court

Ales filed suit in the Aberdeen Sheriff Court April 12 “alleging unlawful discrimination against the society and the violation of rights protected by UK law.”

Alex Mason, spokesperson for Ales, said April 14: “The past several months of obstructions and delays have been frustrating, but they have served to strengthen our resolve to see this unlawful policy repealed. The pro-life position may be an unpopular minority opinion on this campus, but it is fully protected by law.”

Right - Students - Majority - Opinion - Mason

“The right to speak freely must be equally applied to all students, not just to those who already agree with the majority opinion,” Mason added.

The lawsuit requests that the court find Ausa's “deplatforming pro-life student societies” incompatible with equality and human right laws.

Ales - Court - Student - Association - Benefits

Ales also asks that the court recommend it be affiliated to the student association “complete with the benefits and privileges that other societies enjoy.”

The pro-life group announced the rejection of its application for affiliation Oct. 19, 2018, saying: “We were rejected because the Student Council passed a policy in November 2017 declaring AUSA to be 'pro-choice' and pledging to 'no-platform' any society that opposes abortion. Since our proposed society is unashamedly pro-life, we have been banned from affiliating.”

Group - Pro-choice - Policy - Cover - Student

The pro-life group said that the pro-choice policy is “being used as political cover to ban student speech on campus, it also treats the student body as undivided on the issue of abortion.”

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