Pro-life group banned by Glasgow Uni students’ group

A student pro-life group has been prevented from becoming affiliated with the University of Glasgow’s Students’ Union.

Glasgow Students for Life applied to become a registered society, but were turned down by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC).

The decision means the pro-life group will be denied funding, and barred from using meeting rooms, advertising events, and even having a stall at the Freshers’ Fair.

Free speech

The SRC said the group “crosses a line” by campaigning against abortion, and that its aims “do not align with the ethos of the SRC and its values”.

Glasgow Students for Life said the ban was “an assault on freedom of speech at Glasgow University which is legally obliged to foster an environment of academic freedom”.

The group added that affiliation with the SRC “grants us a certain status of legitimacy within the university; a legitimacy that should be afforded to all student societies equally, regardless of their beliefs”.

Unpopular views

The pro-life group said the SRC was in breach of its own equalities and diversities policy, the 2010 Equality Act and the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016.

The latter says universities should protect the freedom to present “controversial or unpopular points of view”.

Jamie McGowan, a law student acting as an advisor to the group, said: “We are hoping the SRC will overturn this decision, otherwise the group will have to seek remedy in the courts.”

A spokesman for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said: “Those who hold the pro-life position have no fear of genuine debate and of all places a university should be a place which welcomes such an attitude.”

Strathclyde University

Last month, the University of Strathclyde’s Students’ Union voted to drop a clause which prevented pro-life groups from being affiliated with it.

The Union accepted that its ban on pro-life groups has been discriminatory and a violation of freedom of speech following a challenge from the pro-life Strathclyde Students for Life group.

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