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Pro-Life Speech Excluded from General Funding Program at Carleton University (Ontario):

The proposal I discussed here was enacted last night, by a vote of 26 to 6:

The motion affirms a woman's right to choose her options in the case of pregnancy, and would prohibit any group or person seeking to "limit or remove a woman's right to choose" from using CUSA [Carleton University Students Association] resources and space or from receiving recognition and funding.

The motion, as it was originally tabled at a Nov. 21 council meeting, aimed at restricting groups with an "anti-choice" mandate on the basis of discrimination against women.

CUSA defined anti-choice as actively campaigning for the re-criminalization of abortion.

The motion was amended during a meeting of the CUSA constitutional policy board early Dec. 4, but was amended again during the Dec. 5 council meeting to remove the words "anti-choice." ...

During the meeting, the CUSA executives were repeatedly questioned about their right to make a decision of this nature. They responded by saying they are a political organization, and as such, are allowed to take a stand on political issues....

Surely the CUSA is allowed to take a stand on political issues. The question is whether they are allowed to deny student groups that take other stands equal access to space, resources, and funding. CUSA isn't just a student group like some hypothetical Carleton Conservatives or the Carleton Pro-Choice Organization. All students are automatically enrolled in CUSA. It spends fees collected from students (though apparently there is an opt-out option), and administering access to university property that is supposed to be available to all students. Its Clubs & Societies Web page tells us a little about how it operates:

Clubs are a great way to get involved with your Carleton University Student Association. There are over 150 clubs and societies on campus with something for everyone. Check out the clubs listing to see what club and/or society is for you. Can't find one? Then create your own, it only takes you and 9 others to create a club.

The details are easy, simply visit the clubs office on the 3rd floor of University centre or download the Clubs Application package online. Once certified, you will have the opportunity to apply for a maximum of 1000 dollars in funding.

This year the Clubs and Societies budget has been increased by 10 000 dollars to allow more clubs the opportunity to further enrich our community. So whether your club would like to raise funds for AIDS research, unite those who enjoy playing chess, or organize cultural events there is an opportunity for everyone.

Better add a clause at the end: "there is an opportunity for everyone, unless you want to campaign to change the law in a way that we dislike."

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Pro-Life Speech Excluded from General Funding Program at Carleton University (Ontario):
  2. Canadian University Womyn's Centre Trying To Exclude Pro-Life Groups
Anderson (mail) (www):
Canada is creepy sometimes. Not as creepy as the United States, but still a little creepy.
12.6.2006 2:11pm
whit:
when it comes to SPEECH rights, canada is far far far more creepy

canada does not have a first amendment, it has "hate speech" laws that make even private phone communications with colleagues criminally actionable, etc.

i took a hate crimes instructor course with a bunch of canadian cops, and let me tell you the laws they have up there are SCARY.

they really do not respect free speech at all. "civility" is more important than freedom to express opinion. that's in their parliamentary record
12.6.2006 2:37pm
MnZ (mail):
Does this ban also apply to those groups that oppose abortion in the 3rd trimester?
12.6.2006 2:47pm
JB:
So women have the right to choose...except they can't choose to start a pro-life club.
12.6.2006 2:54pm
Steve:
My law school spent all our mandatory student government contributions on beer. Every penny.
12.6.2006 2:55pm
snark:
I think this school uses semesters, not trimesters. :-)
12.6.2006 2:58pm
Michael B (mail):
More of the Tolerance for Thee, Not for Me theme.

And of course these types of initiatives exclude more than tolerance as an isolable factor and quality; they seek to exclude or foreclose thought itself. Thus it's not surprising that slogans, demonizing labels and agitprop in general are (increasingly?) used as (increasingly acceptable?) substitutes for thought.
12.6.2006 3:38pm
Prigos:

canada does not have a first amendment, it has "hate speech" laws that make even private phone communications with colleagues criminally actionable, etc.

Well, no. No amendments at all, really. There is, however, a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guarantees the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression (among otheres) subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed in law as can be demonstratably justified in a free and democratic society. Canadian law and society have demonstrated lower tolerance for "hate speech" (in terms of speech that targets a specific, identifiable group and advocates or is likely to result in violence, as a general legal principle) and much lower populist tendencies to demand the censoring of a wide range of other expression. Make for more interesting TV, thankfully.

But this isn't really a freedom of speech issue anyways. It's about a) a student government saying they don't want funds going to groups that they oppose (on ideological grounds) using broad generalizations and b) people unconnected with (and often uninformed about) the debate in question condemning it out of hand (on ideological grounds) and drawing broad generalizations.

For the record, it's an extremely rare event for commited members either side of the debate on any "moral" question to actually have any desire to hear or to have any respect for the other side of the debate. And as a general rule, the side that manages to present it's particular position of the day in the way that is least objectionable and least strident to the majority is usually the one to carry the day.

I suspect most people get an intellectual sniff of the desperation on the losing side and edge away. The public discourse version of a panhandler, if you will.
12.6.2006 4:24pm
whit:
prigos, get real. their so called "hate speech" laws come down to the fact that the govt. is given authority to determine what speech is or isn't "hateful" and is thus allowed in the public debate.

it is in now way a 'reasonable limit" to criminalize ideas that tend to offend, demean, etc. groups

i don't rationalize canada's aversion to free speech. it's disgusting that an allegedly democratic free society does not allow the PEOPLE to determine truth, but squelches unpopular ideas if they are "hateful"
12.6.2006 4:50pm
whit:
oh also, their "charter of rights and freedoms" do NOT guarantee freedom of expression as their hate speech laws clearly demonstrate

also, as i mentioned in the phone example, it is not just about "inciting violence". it is about proscribing IDEAS>

under aspects of the law, if two people who are in agreement that, for instance, blue people are uglier than green people (fictional races for the sake of argument), discuss this with each USING THE PHONE lines, that is a crime.

read the statutes.

the statutes make clear that when it comes to speech, the charter of rights and freedoms mean nothing. you are free to say whatever you want, as long as some identifiable group (preferably a "minority" or {"oppressed") group) cannot find it offensive to them

that pretty much eliminates free debate
12.6.2006 4:53pm
Prigos:
Not being as conversant with Canadian hate speech legislation as you obviously are, I'll look forward to seeing the citations and, particularly, the case law, that show that.

You do have evidence to support your position, don't you? You're not just taking things heard 3rd, 4th or Xth hand at face value, right? Because, on even a quick review of the materials available to me, it seems fairly clear that the laws do not apply to private speech and that they address limited circumstances (for example, no coverage under the Criminal Code sections for speech addressing sex, orientation, lifestyle, ideology...)
12.6.2006 5:53pm
dick thompson (mail):
I still remember a case written up about a printer in Alberta, I think, or Manitoba. A gay group came to him to print up a bunch of brochures for them and he turned the job down because he did not belief in the gay cause in the brochures. He was sued by them and he had to pay thousands of dollars to the group and also print the brochures because his turning down the job for the reason given was hate speech.
12.6.2006 5:56pm
Michael B (mail):
"But this isn't really a freedom of speech issue ..." Prigos

Asserting this is not about free speech, then additionally asserting it's about something else (which something else is, ironically, very much related to speech), is an interesting and exclusionary tack to take in approaching this subject (especially so as there were six dissenting votes within the student panel itself, much less what those dissents reflect more broadly). At issue is not private funds and resources, but instead is directly related to "resources and space" and "recognition and funding" from the general pool of student funds and public/university resources.

Tellingly ironic assertions aside, speech, freedom of speech, is perforce at issue. And for someone seeking "evidence" from others, not an unreasonable request otherwise, you might forward something beyond your own unsupported assertions, i.e. a more reasoned argument and one which itself is supported with evidence?
12.6.2006 6:24pm
Nathan_M (mail):
Not being as conversant with Canadian hate speech legislation as you obviously are, I'll look forward to seeing the citations and, particularly, the case law, that show that.


Canada does have hate speech laws, see s. 318 of the Criminal Code which bans advocating genocide, and s. 319 which bans the public incitement of hatred. A private telephone conversation would not be covered by s. 319. It might be covered by s. 318, but that section has never been challenged under the Charter.

An earlier commentator said that he or she took a "hate crimes" course with Canadian police. I don't know what they were taught, but in general police officers have very little idea what the law actually is, and especially in an area like this it would be foolish to rely on what they think.

I have no idea about the case of a printer refusing to print a brochure dick thompson cites, but it is clearly not an example of criminal law. It might be based on provincial legislation protecting human rights. Or of course it might not have happened as described.

The Charter is irrelevant to this discussion anyway, though, because it does not apply to a student government organization. And I haven't seen any suggestion anti-abortion speech is legally hate speech in Canada (and it very clearly is not) so I don't see what those laws have to do with this either.
12.6.2006 6:24pm
Nathan_M (mail):

Tellingly ironic assertions aside, speech, freedom of speech, is perforce at issue. And for someone seeking "evidence" from others, not an unreasonable request otherwise, you might forward something beyond your own unsupported assertions, i.e. a more reasoned argument and one which itself is supported with evidence?


Just to reiterate, this is not (legally) a free speech issue. US law might be different, but the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms only applies to the government. The Supreme Court of Canada has previously held that the Charter does not apply to a publicly funded university(McKinney v. University of Guelph, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 229), so it is very hard to imagine it would apply to the student government at a university.

Professor Volokh writes that "Surely the CUSA is allowed to take a stand on political issues. The question is whether they are allowed to deny student groups that take other stands equal access to space, resources, and funding." The answer, I think, is that they are entitled to use their space, resources, and funding however they please, unless there is a law to the contrary. I don't know of any law that requires them to fund a group they don't agree with.

One can debate whether CUSA's decision is wise or not (for what it's worth I think it's dumb), but I just don't see the legal issue about whether they're entitled to do it.
12.6.2006 6:35pm
Michael B (mail):
Neither in the excerpted quote nor beyond that did I say anything at all about legalities, I spoke to the fact that it is a speech, a free speech, related issue.
12.6.2006 6:44pm
Prigos:
Michael, you're reading more into my statement than I intended. Or perhaps I didn't communicate clearly enough. One of the downsides of text, I suppose. I'm not saying that there isn't the potential for an impact on freedom of speech, but that I see this entire episode as a political/ideological red cape for both sides.

That said, I also think we don't have anywhere near enough information to really discuss the matter as anything but as an ideological issue, rather than as a substantive "freedom of speech" topic.


The motion affirms a woman’s right to choose her options in the case of pregnancy, and would prohibit any group or person seeking to “limit or remove a woman’s right to choose” from using CUSA [Carleton University Students Association] resources and space or from receiving recognition and funding.

Looking at it, the interpretation is likely broader than it would have been with the "anti-choice" wording still in it, but if a group were to come to CUSA with materials that stressed that women should choose life rather than abortion, but that avoided the issue of limiting or removing a woman's right to choose, it seems to me that CUSA would not be able to use this to deny them.

There doesn't seem to be anything to prevent a group of students from acting on their own, there are no provisions to prevent individuals who take part in this from any other activities linked to CUSA, there are no penalties, no strictures. While it can have a chilling impact on the discussion on campus by limiting the resources available to the particular viewpoint in CUSA's target sight (or sights, if and when they decide that they need to expand it, as will, with these things, inevitably happen), it does not prevent that discussion from happening. Distasteful, absolutely. Reflects poorly on the student government, I'd say so. Cripples freedom of speech on the campus? Based on the above, I'd have to edge towards no. But again, how will it be interpreted, particularly by the Council that introduced it?
12.6.2006 6:54pm
Michael B (mail):
Prigos, I'll certainly take you sincerely and at your word (though your prior language was ambiguous). Still, mine was social commentary, not more strictly or narrowly focused legal commentary per se. To risk being pedantic, in a free society laws are formed upon the general socio-cultural and moral/ethical substrate of the society in question. As such social commentary is an obvious prerequisite to any more specifically targeted legal concern per se.

In a similar vein, free speech is first and foremost an organic social issue before it is more political and then subsequently legislated and enforced as the law of the land. It's that organic, social substrate that I was addressing. I.e. if such an exclusionary practice is not legally proscribed when free speech issues are most certainly involved I am in effect broaching the subject that perhaps (certainly dependent upon additional information) such legal proscriptions are worthy of consideration.

If not, why not? And if not, does such reflect upon a questionable mitigation of free speech as a legal/societal concern?
12.6.2006 7:26pm
whit:
prigos, feel free to go to the CCLA site, or the actual canadian legal code and read the frigging code.

obviously, you formed an opinion first, without knowing what the canadian legal system says about hate speech

if there is a part of my post that you DISAGREE with, then state that you disagree, and i will provide cites to prove my case.

it sounds like you started spouting about the (so called) charters of rights and freedoms without understanding how truly limited they are in canada's new thought control legal system
12.6.2006 10:57pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
I'm not offering any opinion on Canadian law at all. In the US, there has been debate whether giving money or other resources constitutes "speech," because free speech might be hampered without it. Prigos statement suggests that this is approached differently in Canadian law.

1. CUSA's statement that they are a political organization and thus are allowed to do political things sounds very much like the tired postmodern idea that "it's all about power," with the annoying discussions of who is privileged to speak. If so, then the lack of understanding of free speech in this instance goes very deep - far deeper than a discussion of whether certain ideas can be left unfunded.

2. If the money is public in the sense that it is drawn from all for the benefit of all, then not funding a group on the basis of advocacy alone would seem an abridgement of speech. To make an analogy, if roads are paid for with public funds, then not allowing someone on the road to Vancouver would be discrimination. To maintain that they are not being forbidden to go to Vancouver, but just have to find some other way, is inadequate protection. Thus the idea that the pro-life group's right to speak has not been abridged because they could find some other way seems specious.
12.6.2006 11:23pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> but that avoided the issue of limiting or removing a woman's right to choose,

In other words, if they changed their political advocacy to something "acceptable".

> There doesn't seem to be anything to prevent a group of students from acting on their own, there are no provisions to prevent individuals who take part in this from any other activities linked to CUSA, there are no penalties, no strictures.

There's the small matter that CUSA takes their money and uses it against their wishes.
12.7.2006 12:28am
AndersK (mail):
Canada does have hate speech laws, see s. 318 of the Criminal Code which bans advocating genocide, and s. 319 which bans the public incitement of hatred.
A private telephone conversation would not be covered by s. 319. It might be covered by s. 318, but that section has never been challenged under the Charter.

Your statement of the law is technically correct but misleading to the broader point that private speech (even telephone conversations) might be covered by the hate speech laws.

Section 13 of The Canadian Human Rights Act states:
"for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by
means of the facilities of a telecommunications undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person
to hatred or contempt by the reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination."


Truth is no defense under Section 13, because courts have held that whether truthful or not, the defense would anyway be irrelevant to the discriminatory effect of the message.
Also note that most provinces have statutes broadly making speech illegal under other vague formulations.
12.7.2006 6:18am
Randy R. (mail):
When I was in college, there was an issue that came up. I was on the Board of Directors of a student-run corporation that collected student fees, and one of the things that we administered was the student health insurance. Back then, it was about $70 per year (you can guess how long ago that was!). The insurance included funds for an abortion, AND also funds if a student carried the child to full term and birth, plus up to three days in the hospital. It was an excellent plan. The cost of abortion amounted to about $3 per student per year.

HOwever, the anti-abortion crowd was upset that they had their student fees being used for abortions. They wanted an option to have the insurance without abortion coverage and their fees to be $67 to reflect that none of their money would go towards abortion.

We rejected this for several reasons. First, if it was an option, then most men would opt out, since they would never need the plan. This, coupled with many other students opting out, would raise the price much more than just $3. (Less students paying into insurance means a raise for those who do). Second, since the bills go the parents, it would be difficult for many women to justify to their parents why they would ever need abortion insurance. parents might refuse to pay for it.

Third, and most important in my mind, was that I spoke with the head of the Sex Ed Center. She said that her cabinets were full of files of women who never ever thought that they would be pregnant in college, and lo and behold, they were. So, if they had opted out at the beginning of the semester, their choice would be limited because they would have no funds for an abortion. So ironically, by forcing everyone to accept abortion coverage, it insured that all women would have a real choice IF they should find themselves in a such a a situation.

We were called hypocrites for not allowing 'choice.' But as I mentioned, sometimes you have to force choice upon people, even if they don't think they will ever need it.

In this situation, it's not a matter of choice vs. non-choice. What the students are saying is that they simply won't fund an organization that wants to criminilize abortion. They means that they will fund organizations that are against abortions, and will attempt to persuade women, or pass our literature, or whatever, SO LONG AS they don't ask for criminilization.

I know that that sounds like splitting hairs, but it isn't. It's pretty clear. It's not necessarily a position I would take if I were a student, but it's a rational one. Why should a student government fund ANY organization that seeks to change the crime laws? Student funds are limited -- they have a right to come up with rules that would limit the expenditure of funds to certain classes of organizations. And remember -- at least according to what we read above -- there is no PROHIBITION of the orgizations, merely student funds. They can raise their own funds, if they need them. My experience is that student clubs need very little funds to operate. Really, how much money do they need?

Finally, the students are, I presume, like most others, in that they are elected by the students. Therefore they represent the majority of students. This is what I call democracy. If the anti-abortionists are upset, they can convince the students that they are wrong, submit their own candidates and run for office, and change the policy, right?

At least, every time I raise the argument of gay marriage, that's exactly what all you people who are against tell me I should do that!
12.7.2006 11:58pm
Michael B (mail):
"This is what I call democracy. If the anti-abortionists are upset, they can convince the students that they are wrong, submit their own candidates and run for office, and change the policy, right?" Randy R.

That's not what I call democracy, that's what I call latent authoritarian or totalitarian interests. With what ready (and eager) facility we convince ourselves of our rightness, even to deny the most fundamental rights - of those with whom we disagree. "The majority" does not oppressively and coercively rule over the minority with every changing of the guard as if a putsch has occurred, for instance by denying basic rights (including those related to speech). What's next, creating a system of gulags to yet further proscribe freedom of movement, along with freedom of speech?

And your analogy with gay marriage, or any other contentious issue, would work only if a group of citizens, whether students or otherwise, was proscribing your right to lobby for, or against, the particular contentious issue you were interested in.

Now generalizing, hence the long historical struggle to first implement, and then nourish and sustain, societal and civilizational norms which preclude such coercive and oppressive designs.
12.8.2006 2:57am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
Randy R. wrote:

First, if it was an option, then most men would opt out, since they would never need the plan. [...]

We were called hypocrites for not allowing 'choice.' But as I mentioned, sometimes you have to force choice upon people, even if they don't think they will ever need it.


Randy, you weren't just called hypocrites, you were hypocrites! You and your cronies forcibly took money from all the male students, knowing that they would never receive the medical benefit that was the ostensible reason for taking the money. You weren't forcing "choice" on people, you were forcing lack of choice, for the sake of a cause that you considered so worthwhile that you denied others the ability to make their own decisions about it. Feh.
12.8.2006 4:13am
AndersK (mail):
In this situation, it's not a matter of choice vs. non-choice. What the students are saying is that they simply won't fund an organization that wants to
criminilize abortion. They means that they will fund organizations that are against abortions, and will attempt to persuade women, or pass our literature,
or whatever, SO LONG AS they don't ask for criminilization.

I know that that sounds like splitting hairs, but it isn't. It's pretty clear. It's not necessarily a position I would take if I were a student, but it's
a rational one. Why should a student government fund ANY organization that seeks to change the crime laws? Student funds are limited -- they have a right
to come up with rules that would limit the expenditure of funds to certain classes of organizations. And remember -- at least according to what we read
above -- there is no PROHIBITION of the orgizations, merely student funds. They can raise their own funds, if they need them. My experience is that student
clubs need very little funds to operate. Really, how much money do they need?

This is a red herring. Suppose that an organization lobbied to decriminalize sodomy or forbid racial discrimination.
Then your argument would be fine if the rule operated in a viewpoint neutral manner. The Christian group lobbying for a ban on abortion and the leftist group wanting to have private landlords covered by laws against sexual orientation discrimination would be in the same untenable position arguing that the rule abridged their free speech rights.
But a one sided funding rule only disfavoring, though not forbidding outright, the use of public money for lobbying against a specific law is a viewpoint based restriction on speech (see Legal Services Corporation v. Velasquez, 531 U.S. 533 (2001) [Striking down a law forbidding the funding of lawsuits challenging welfare legislation]).

Suppose that a southern university in the 1960s had denied funding to the NAACP on the ground that the organization's purpose was to have laws against miscegenation abolished, but at the same time provided funding to organizations whose policies was the retension of racial segregation. The university would of course not admit to a censorial motive and would therefore delegate the task of fee collection and distribution to an elected body of students whose views would have the final say over all funding decisions.


Finally, the students are, I presume, like most others, in that they are elected by the students. Therefore they represent the majority of students. This
is what I call democracy. If the anti-abortionists are upset, they can convince the students that they are wrong, submit their own candidates and run for
office, and change the policy, right?

Wrong again, the fact that a discriminatory funding policy might be implemented by a democratic majority by referendum does not insulate it from free speech lest say equal protection objections.
If that were otherwise your democratically elected student government could equally deny funding to Blacks or require the recipients of the fees to enforce racial segregation in its membership activities.
12.8.2006 7:07am
markm (mail):

An earlier commentator said that he or she took a "hate crimes" course with Canadian police. I don't know what they were taught, but in general police officers have very little idea what the law actually is, and especially in an area like this it would be foolish to rely on what they think.

As I understood that post, this isn't merely what police think, it's what they are being taught. Also, if the police think it's a crime, then the minimum penalty for it in practice is a night in jail and thousands of dollars for a lawyer to convince the court that it's not a crime.
12.8.2006 5:08pm
Randy R. (mail):
"You and your cronies forcibly took money from all the male students, knowing that they would never receive the medical benefit that was the ostensible reason for taking the money. You weren't forcing "choice" on people, you were forcing lack of choice, for the sake of a cause that you considered so worthwhile that you denied others the ability to make their own decisions about it."

Our view was that a woman cannot get pregnant with a man, and therefore a man should share the burden of costs for his actions. Remember: The insurance policy provided benefits for both abortion AND bringing the fetus to term and birth. According to your view, men should be able to opt out of all this coverage, which would mean that the premiums for women would go up rather significantly. Which, of course, defeats the entire purpose of pooling risks in insurance -- spreading the costs over many to cover the costs of a few.

Hypocritical? I'm not sure. But you have a better way to handle insurance issues, let's hear it.
12.9.2006 12:16am
Randy R. (mail):
Michael B: That's not what I call democracy, that's what I call latent authoritarian or totalitarian interests. With what ready (and eager) facility we convince ourselves of our rightness, even to deny the most fundamental rights - of those with whom we disagree.

Which is exactly how social conservatives deny gay rights and gay marriage. We believe having the right to marry is a fundamental right that cannot be denied. But conservatives, the religious right and all, use deny our rights merely because they disagree with us. And when we use the courts to gain these rights, we are criticized and told to go through the legislature.

Well, you really can't have it both ways. If you think that we should go through the legislature to get our basic rights, then the students should go through their own student legislature to gain their 'right' to funds. No one has prohibited them from lobbying or running for office, right? So why isn't that they appropriate vehicle?
12.9.2006 12:21am
Randy R. (mail):
"You and your cronies forcibly took money from all the male students, "

Actually, that's not true. The school required all students to have health insurance, but they were not required to have the student plan that we offered. They were free to obtain some other insurance. The benefit was that our insurance was much cheaper and covered more, so naturally most everyone had that insurance.

But for those who really objected to paying for abortion services, or if they were male, were free to find another plan more acceptable to their principles.
12.9.2006 12:23am
Michael B (mail):
But of course, Randy, we're talking past one another. A Foucauldian, power based, uber politics is foundationally and qualitatively different than a principled, classical liberal set of political interests founded upon registers recalling Locke, Montesquieu, De Jouvenel, et al.

In the case of the latter, the dynamics of power still, obviously, need to be recognized, but they are proportioned and sublimated. In the case of the former the very underlying principle is power itself, and further devolutions ensue.
12.9.2006 4:42pm
Randy R. (mail):
Terrific! And when you can explain how gay rights and abortion rights are different, I will be able to respond. Until then, I can only assume you are hiding behind high falutin theories to explain what you cannot in plain English: right now the balance of power is against gay rights, and that abortion is allowed in most cases.

The bottomline is this discussion from conservative participants shows that they think that pro-life groups should receive *everything* that they want without having to participate in the political process, but that gay groups should have to convince a majority of voters before they get *anything* that they want.

I believe that's what some political philosophers call a 'double standard"; there is one for the people they support, and a different, much more difficult one for the people they oppose.
12.10.2006 4:33pm