Georgia Tech Settles with Pro-Life Group Over Denied Funds For Speaker
Sep 18, 2020
Georgia Tech has agreed to pay $50,000 as part of a lawsuit settlement filed against the school by a group that claimed it allowed student government leaders to withhold funding from groups with which it disagrees politically.
Georgia Tech settles with pro-life group over denied speaker funding
Students for Life, a Georgia Tech student group opposed to abortion, invited pro-life activist Alveda King, the niece of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to speak on campus last year, but said student government leaders would not cover the $2,346 for her appearance. SGA members stated that because King has been involved in religious ministries, her life was "inherently religious." And because they could not separate her religious life from the event about civil rights and abortion, they denied the application funding. They went on to express concern that some students may be offended by King's presence on campus and the viewpoints she had expressed in the past.
Last April, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit in behalf of Students For Life against Georgia Tech. The lawsuit claimed the SGA has denied Ms. King and Students for Life their constitutional rights by discriminating against their viewpoint on these issues, "When universities dictate, or grant students the power to dictate, which messages and messengers are allowed on campus they transform universities from 'marketplaces of ideas' to a seller's market of a single ideology deemed acceptable to the SGA."
The University has agreed to change its unconstitutional policies that had allowed the SGA to discriminate against Alveda King and Students For Life. As part of the settlement ending the federal lawsuit, the university agreed to revise its policies to treat all student organizations fairly, regardless of viewpoint, and to pay $50,000 in damages and attorneys' fees.
Georgia Tech to pay $50K, improve free speech policy in legal ‘win’ for pro-life students
Georgia Tech settles with pro-life student group, revises policies on student organizations