Human Rights Complaint Forces College to Permit Pro-Life Group Official Club Status

From NCLN:

Press Release

For Immediate Release

May 20th, 2008

Human Rights Complaint Forces College to Permit Pro-Life Group Official Club Status

(North Vancouver, BC) – The Capilano College Heartbeat Club and the Capilano Students Union (CSU) have reached an agreement that will see the pro-life Heartbeat Club achieve CSU club recognition when they apply in the fall. Sarah Hudson of the National Campus Life Network, an organization that supports pro-life students, has called this “good news for pro-life students all over Canada who are forced to be silent about their pro-life beliefs.” The parties released a joint statement shortly after the agreement had been made:

“The Heartbeat Club filed a Human Rights complaint against the Capilano Students’ Union. The Club and the CSU have entered into a settlement agreement which is confidential. The parties agree that there is no admission of liability by the CSU and that the Heartbeat Club will be entitled to CSU club status if they apply.”

The summer of 2006 saw the CSU pass a motion put forward by a member of the campus “Women’s Center” that made the group an official “pro-choice” organization. This was immediately prior to reviewing Heartbeat Club’s application requesting official CSU club status, and denying them this request. After a second application was also denied, for the reason that the club would hinder “a woman’s right to choose”, Heartbeat forwarded a complaint to the British Columbia human rights tribunal.

In January of 2008, the tribunal rejected a request by the CSU to dismiss the Heartbeat Club’s complaint. Last Wednesday, the two parties reached an agreement that will finally give Heartbeat a chance to be recognized as an official CSU club, allowing them to utilize the University’s facilities in order to carry out their mission of promoting human dignity in all stages of life. “From the beginning I was angered by the fact that the CSU, who should represent all students and welcome respectful debate on important issues, had decided it must take a stand against a legitimate position regarding abortion,” stated Hudson, “but in the end, I am happy to finally have the students’ rights to free speech recognized.” Unfortunately, those same rights have been denied to pro-life students on several other campuses throughout the country, but the students will continue to persist for their rights on campus.

For more information contact:

Sarah Hudson, National Campus Life Network: sarah@ncln.ca; 788-686-2825
Minerva Macapagal, Capilano Heartbeat Club President: 778-834-0436

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