Gonzaga University: Refusal to Recognize Christian Pro-Life Club

Category: Free Speech, Religious Liberty
Schools: Gonzaga University

Two Christian student groups, The Christian Legal Society and The Christian Pro-Life Caucus, failed to gain recognition from Gonzaga Law School’s Student Bar Association (SBA). The Christian Pro-Life Law Caucus was rejected as an official student group last fall, when SBA president Albert Guadagno declared that the Christian group’s requirement that its leadership be Christian was “discriminatory.” Gonzaga University’s president, Father Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., failed to intervene on behalf of either group despite Gonzaga Law’s promise to be a “welcoming environment for students of all religious backgrounds or secular moral traditions.”

  • Gonzaga University Denies Pro-Life Student Group Official Status

    December 24, 2003

    Gonzaga University, a leading Catholic college, has denied a pro-life student group official status, stating that a policy allowing only Christians to hold leadership positions was discriminatory. The Pro-Life Law Caucus was formed this past fall to promote the pro-life movement and to assist a crisis pregnancy center in Spokane. The 20 member club sought affiliation with the school, which would entitle them to money from student fees and mention on the University’s website and student handbook, as well as allow them to use “Gonzaga” in the club’s name. The Student Bar Association’s President Albert Guadagno affirmed that the groups […]

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  • Gonzaga Denies Official Status to Abortion Foes

    December 21, 2003

    If there were any place that would embrace her Christian, anti-abortion student club without hesitation, Ashley Horne figured it would be Gonzaga University, a 116-year-old Jesuit school in Spokane and one of the Northwest’s leading Catholic institutions. But to her surprise, Gonzaga’s Student Bar Association (SBA) has refused to recognize her Pro-Life Law Caucus as a university-sponsored group, ruling that the club would discriminate because only Christians can hold leadership positions in the organization. “We live in a strange age, indeed, when a Catholic, Jesuit university would deny a Christian pro-life group recognition because its religious nature is considered discriminatory,” […]

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  • God and Man at Gonzaga

    February 22, 2005

    Recently, I received a letter from two third-year law students at Gonzaga University (GU) School of Law.  The students described your law school as one that is “secular” and which fraudulently holds itself out to be Catholic. They also stated they had experienced first-hand the school’s trampling of the rights of Christian students.  Specifically, they accused GU of violating the rights of their first Christian pro-life group. As a preliminary matter, I understand that your “Catholic” law school has the words of Matthew 22:35-38 emblazoned on one of its walls:  “One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to […]

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  • No Myth: Conservatives in Academia Suffer Discrimination

    October 15, 2004

    In a recent Sun column, (“Reclaim Your Victimhood,” Sept. 24), Danny Pearlstein, skeptical of the notion that conservatives in academia suffer discrimination, challenged conservatives “to send me concrete instances” of such. As the French would say, “chiche!” — dare accepted. Pearlstein’s challenge was, at least from his perspective, ill-timed. For within 48 hours came a glaring example of anti-conservative discrimination at Cornell, courtesy of the Student Assembly(SA): The SA’s blatantly political attempt to defund The Cornell American, one of the very few conservative student groups on campus. The attempted defunding was done in reliance on a newly-adopted, ex post facto […]

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  • Gonzaga Law School Denies Another Christian Group Recognition

    March 15, 2004

    A Catholic law school in Washington State is being accused of stifling religious freedom by rejecting yet another Christian student group on campus. Despite its professed commitment to be “a welcoming environment for students of all religious backgrounds,” Gonzaga University Law School has denied recognition to the Christian Legal Society. The law school’s Student Bar Association claims the Christian group’s requirement that its leadership be Christian is “discriminatory.”   But Greg Lukianoff with Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says such an argument flies in the face of Supreme Court jurisprudence. He believes the Student Bar Association is violating […]

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  • Catholic school rejects Christian Group

    March 11, 2004

    A private Catholic law school’s Student Bar Association has rejected two Christian groups on campus because it considers a requirement that leadership be Christian “discriminatory.” The Spokane, Wash., Jesuit school’s SBA won’t recognize the local chapter of the Christian Legal Society and last fall it also rejected the Christian Pro-Life Caucus, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, a group promoting religious liberty on campuses. FIRE says Gonzaga University’s president, the Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, has not intervened on behalf of either group despite the law school’s promise to be a “welcoming environment for students of […]

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  • Gonzaga Law School Rejects Yet Another Christian Group

    March 10, 2004

    SPOKANE , WA—Since the fall of 2003, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has been defending the Christian Pro-Life Caucus at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington. It now has come to light that yet another Christian group, the Christian Legal Society, also failed to gain recognition from the law school’s Student Bar Association (SBA). The Christian Pro-Life Law Caucus was rejected as an official student group last fall, when SBA president Albert Guadagno declared that the Christian group’s requirement that its leadership be Christian was “discriminatory.” Gonzaga University’s president, Father Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., has […]

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  • Jesuit College Bars Pro-life Group for “Bias

    December 23, 2003

    The Gonzaga School of Law, a Jesuit college in Washington state, refuses to recognize a student pro-life group that requires its leaders be Christians, saying the religious restriction is discriminatory. “Why not allow a Jewish, Muslim or nonreligious student to be head of the caucus, when they could be equally concerned about pro-life issues as a Christian student?” Gonzaga spokesman Dale Goodwin said in a telephone interview yesterday. The law school administration’s decision not to recognize Gonzaga Pro-Life Caucus, which prevents the group from meeting on campus and applying for funding, was prompted by the Student Bar Association (SBA). It […]

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  • Gonzaga Won’t Recognize Anti-Abortion Club

    December 22, 2003

    SPOKANE – Law student Ashley Horne never thought her club for abortion opponents would be rejected by Gonzaga University, a leading Northwest Catholic institution. But the school’s Student Bar Association this fall refused to recognize her Pro-Life Law Caucus as a university-sponsored group, ruling that a policy allowing only Christians to hold leadership positions was a form of discrimination. “We live in a strange age, indeed, when a Catholic, Jesuit university would deny a Christian pro-life group recognition because its religious nature is considered discriminatory,” said Greg Lukianoff, spokesman for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in Philadelphia, a […]

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  • Gonzaga Law School Bans Christian Pro-Life Group, Calling Christian Leadership Requirement ‘Discriminatory’

    December 22, 2003

    SPOKANE, WA— Gonzaga University’s president, Father Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., has permitted the School of Law’s Student Bar Association (SBA) to refuse to recognize a Christian student organization. According to the SBA, the Gonzaga Pro-Life Law Caucus’s requirement that its leadership be Christian is “discriminatory.” “We live in a strange age, indeed, when a Catholic, Jesuit university would deny a Christian pro-life group recognition because its religious nature is considered ‘discriminatory,’” said Greg Lukianoff, director of legal and public advocacy for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). “It is sad enough when secular institutions do not recognize the […]

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