The following is a press release I got from NCLN, re-printed in full. Consider supporting their case if you can.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RYERSON PRO-LIFE STUDENTS PREPARE LAWSUIT AGAINST STUDENT UNION
JUNE 9, 2015. TORONTO, ON—On February 23rd, the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) Board of Directors unanimously voted that Students for Life at Ryerson (“SFLR”), a pro-life club at Ryerson University, would not be allowed to form a pro-life club under RSU. This vote marked the last step in an appeal process that began in the fall semester after SFLR was rejected by the Student Groups Committee on the basis that the RSU, “opposes…groups, meetings, or events that promote misogynist views towards woman [sic] and ideologies that promote gender inequity, challenges women’s right [sic] to bodily autonomy, or justifies [sic] sexual assault”.
“Our club stands for human rights for all human beings, including those at the earliest stages of life. We also want to support pregnant students on campus who want alternatives to abortion,” states Carter Grant, a second year business major and Vice-President of SFLR.
Pro-life students at Ryerson were first denied club status back in 2003. Now students are preparing to take the decision to court to assert their right to be treated fairly by their student union, and to not be discriminated against on the basis of their pro-life viewpoint.
The students’ case has been taken on by Charter Defence, a new pro-bono legal defence organization. It has retained experienced constitutional lawyer Carol Crosson to defend the students. Ms. Crosson says that, “pro-life students have been denied rights on campuses long enough. This is the time to end this battle and enshrine students rights on campus.”
However, there is one thing stopping these students. Ms. Crosson explains, “sadly, standing up for your rights often requires money. Charter Defence is graciously covering legal costs, but during the trial or afterwards costs may be awarded against the students.”
Nicholas McLeod, who sued Carleton University on a similar conflict about student rights, states that “we were forced to give up continuing our fight because we had to pay costs to continue. We were not able to and were forced to give up. I want these students to succeed.”
“The students need to raise $20,000 by the middle of July to be able to initiate this case”, Ms Crosson says. “If these students win, it means a win for all pro-lifers. It means that other students in ON will have a legal leg to stand on when their universities and student unions treat them unfairly. It means that bureaucrats in other arenas will take notice that pro-lifers are not easy prey. Let’s help these students win.”
Donations are processed through Charter Defence. Please see donation information on their website, charterdefence.com.