Christian and pro-life groups should not be barred from university campuses, says equalities chief

Jul 5, 2019 by

from Christian Today:

Universities have been told they must protect free speech on campus, including by allowing Christians, pro-life groups and others who hold minority views, to affiliate.

The Chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), David Isaac, said in an address at the Theos conference in London that people were “rightly” concerned about stories being reported in the media of “silencing” and no-platforming – where certain people are blocked from speaking on campus.

Mr Isaac, a former Chair of Stonewall, said he was aware of cases where Christian and pro-life groups had been denied access to rooms on campus or prevented from having a stall at the Freshers’ Fair.

He criticised this approach, saying: “This is not consistent with ensuring freedom of speech on campus, and the EHRC guidance makes clear that it should not happen.”

He went as far as to say that he believed some students’ unions were “promoting their own very narrow policies which don’t extend the principles of freedom of expression”.

“One has to remind students’ unions, and the universities in which those students’ unions sit, about their current legal obligations which I think would allow affiliations of pro-life organisations and groups,” he said.

Although he said that the problem of no-platforming had been “overstated”, he said universities and students’ unions had a responsibility to comply with freedom of speech laws, and promote “respectful and open” debate.

Read here

See also: Is this the start of a free speech fightback on campus? by Ann Farmer, The Conservative Woman.

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