GA Tech Sez “To Heck With Bigots”

I posted earlier about some wingnuts suing Georgia Tech, and the meme about the intolerance of intolerance is the “new intolerance” (or is that the tolerance of intolerance in the “new tolerance”?), but it got eaten in the last database crash and I never got it back.

But that’s not going to stop me from cheering Georgia Tech — something normally verboten for a Georgia Bulldog like myself — for backing up its inclusive policies and saying “to heck with bigots.”

Responding this week to a federal lawsuit filed by two students against the Georgia Institute of Technology, state attorneys said the public university’s policies do not limit the free speech rights of those who oppose gay rights.

Tech does not “prohibit or restrict expressive speech or activity by students or their organizations. Students, faculty and friends of Tech have the right to make statements as they please in the public areas without fear of reprisals,” Assistant Attorney General Tamara J. Wayland wrote in court documents filed May 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Georgia Tech, located in downtown Atlanta, was sued March 16 by Southern Baptist student Ruth Malhotra and Jewish student Orit Sklar, both represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group.

The students allege that as College Republicans they have faced discrimination for, among other things, holding an anti-affirmative action protest. They also feel a gay-rights Safe Space program on campus actively promotes certain religious beliefs about homosexuality, also allegedly violating federal law.

Evidently, Malhotra’s wittle feewings were hurt by the fact that the university has a safe space program for GLBT students; a refuge from bigots like Malhotra. Of course she’d be upset. How dare the university give queers a place where they might not be harangued by the likes of her. GA Tech, to their credit, have told Malhotra and her mob to get over it.

In its response, Georgia Tech stated the Safe Space program is not funded by tax dollars or student activity fees and does not have a religious purpose.

“Although plaintiffs may feel ‘outside’ the GLBT community, or possibly disfavored by its members because of plaintiff’s anti-gay agenda, from the standpoint of a disinterested, reasonable (and informed) observer, the program has a purely secular purpose and does not endorse any religion whatsoever,” state attorneys argued.

So, Tech’s not paying for it and neither are Tech students. The university simply lets the program exist on campus, the same way it lets the Baptist Student Union exist on campus. (Though I’m willing to bet the baptist students probably get some student activity fees. So maybe another lawsuit is in order.)

It’s rare enough that any good news for gay people comes out of Georgia. So, I gotta take a minute to recognize it when it happens. For what it’s worth, this is one bulldawg who ain’t hatin’ Tech today.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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