Editor’s Note: This is a press release issued by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association on May 3.

Youth Protecting Youth, a pro-life student club at the University of Victoria, has initiated a legal action against the University of Victoria Student Society in B.C. Supreme Court. The lawsuit seeks relief from a protracted campaign of censorship and discrimination against the club, in which the Student Society has deprived YPY of official club status and withdrawn its funding to punish it for expressing pro-life views.

The position of the Student Society seems to be that all pro-life advocacy is inherently a form of harassment and discrimination against women, and hence YPY is appropriately denied the status and privileges of an official student club.

YPY has struggled for several years to overcome this campaign against it by polite and diligent engagement with every internal procedure and tribunal available at the university, to no avail.  The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has been assisting YPY for over a year and will be seeking intervener status in the lawsuit.

BCCLA spokesperson John Dixon said today: “As Canadian forces struggle, at enormous cost, to provide security for democratic institutions and values in Afghanistan, a student society at a public B.C. university is cheerfully censoring a group of pro-life students who dare to challenge the pro-choice views of the majority.

“What a disgrace! And what a failure of our educational system, that a university, which is supposed to always choose free discussion over force and censorship, should tolerate such blatantly anti-democratic antics on the part of its Student Society.

“Universities claim academic freedom – freedom from outside interference and independence from government control – specifically to protect the extraordinary value they place upon the utterly uninhibited, open character of their search for truth and knowledge. At U Vic, this keystone of university integrity has evidently been discarded to make room for an ethos of political correctness.

“So off to court. School isn’t out yet.”