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Alliance Alert

May 19, 2017

Cal State-San Marcos Gives Funding to Gender Equity and LGBTQA Centers, But Denies Students for Life

When Nathan Apoaca, president of the Students for Life club at California State Universty-San Marcos, requested funding to bring in a visiting speaker, he was denied.

The university told him that the school does not fund outside entities or outside employees.

But it turns out, that isn't true.

The university provides funding for other student groups, including the Gender Equity and LGBTQA centers, to bring in outside speakers:

"CSU–San Marcos has more than 100 recognized student groups. Although the university says that it prohibits any of those groups from spending activity fee grants on expenses to bring speakers to campus, the Gender Equity Center and the LGBQTA Pride Center enjoy preferential status, and as such, are exempt from that rule and the standard $500 cap. In the 2016-2017 academic year, those two “centers” received a combined $296,498 for speech and expressive activities —more than 21 percent of all mandatory student activity fees the programming board received for that year—compared to only $38,629 for the more than 100 other groups combined (less than 3 percent). This year the GEC hosted the ABC’s of LGBTQ: Queer Women and the so-called “Pleasure Party.” The LGBQTA Pride Center hosted “Kink 101”—which was an interactive workshop and discussion of bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism—and fetish-style practices. These and the centers’ other advocacy events were funded exclusively from mandatory student fees."

Those mandatory student fees are paid by all students, including those involved in the Students for Life group. But the pro-life students were denied access to those funds because of their views.

Here's what ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer had to say:

"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. 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. 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. Under the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, courts have repeatedly rejected unfair and discriminatory policies—like those found at Cal State–San Marcos—as unconstitutional."

Finally, you can watch this video about the case:



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