OTTAWA, November 17, 2010 – The Catholic Civil Rights League today commented on the decertification of the Carleton University pro-life club Lifeline. The group received notice of the decertification from the Carlton University Student Association (CUSA) Monday, citing Lifeline’s pro-life position as the reason but advising that it could be recertified if it amends its constitution “to create one that respects our anti-discrimination policy.”
“We hope the students will come to recognize the irony of restricting a group because of its opinion, often based on religious belief, and then citing a non-discrimination policy as the reason,” said League Executive Director Joanne McGarry. “Unfortunately, some of the incidents involving pro-life clubs on campus in recent years suggest that not all university administrations support equal access to club facilities for pro-life groups.”
Most of the club certification problems relate to the “pro-choice” policy of the Canadian Federation of Students, the umbrella body for university student associations. Lifeline was one of several clubs decertified under this policy in 2006, but later regained its status after concerted protest.
In its support of equality of access to club facilities for campus pro-life clubs, the League has always maintained that schools not willing to insist on equality for pro-life clubs should be prepared to refund the relevant portion of student activity fees to their members.
Five students involved with Lifeline were arrested on a charge of trespassing early in the school year for conducting an authorized Genocide Awareness Project. The case is pending.
National Post coverage of correspondence on this issue, Post, Nov. 17, 2010
Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244; firstname.lastname@example.org