On February 29, 2012, the Family Research Council was invited to speak at a panel on marriage equality in the courts hosted by GW Law School and Lambda Law. That has some law students calling for a limitation of speech against such groups.
Their justification? According to these students, the Family Research Council is a “hate-group” for subscribing to the belief that homosexuality is wrong according to its Christian beliefs. This group of law students has called for the standard for “hate speech” to be designated by the Sothern Poverty Law Center or the Anti-Defamation League for extremist groups.
The Family Research Council’s goal is to “advance faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion” according to their website. According to this group of students from the law school, this is speech which is hateful and bigoted. Not only do they believe that such speakers should not be required as part of any course, but they also seek to put undue restrictions if a speaker from such organization does still come.
This petition is a regrettable step in the direction of limiting discussion of opposing viewpoints on social and political issues at the GW Law School. The law students’ group is using a left-wing legal and activism group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, to judge “hate speech”, and furthermore they are calling for these restrictions because they find the views of the FRC and groups like it disagreeable, hardly a reason to be considered “hate speech.” This is a dangerous limitation of speech that does not stay true to the ideals of free expression and “tolerance” that are critical to college campuses.
Petition of those promoting hate speech limitations:
Students for Freedom of Speech at GW: