Pro-life campus group focus of lawsuit
The pro-life organization requested $500, the capped amount granted to student groups from a cache of mandatory student fees, to host a speaker on the topic of "Abortion and Human Equality." The school allegedly denied the request, and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the group and its president, Nathan Apodaca.
"This is yet another example of a university using their power, along with student fees, to restrict speech they don't agree with or particularly like, giving credence to the emerging fact that tolerance does not apply to pro-life or conservative speech," said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.
Despite the $500 per semester cap, the school awarded the Gender Equity Center and the [LGBT] Pride Center with a combined $296,498 to host speakers and hold events during the 2016-2017 school year. That's more than 20 percent of all the fees paid by students at the school.
Cal State–San Marcos awarded less than 3 percent of student fees ($38,629) to all other campus groups.
"Today's college students will be tomorrow's legislators, judges, commissioners, and voters," said Casey Mattox, director of ADF's Center for Academic Freedom. "But at Cal State–San Marcos they are learning that government can force citizens to pay for advocacy of the views it decides shall be orthodox and effectively exclude competing views. There can be no marketplace of ideas where the government simply funds its favored views."