Canadian Freethought Group Stands Up For Free Speech of Pro-Life Group

York University’s Freethought/Nontheist group – Freethinkers, Skeptics, and Atheists at York (FreeSAY) – is standing up for the free speech and free assembly rights of Pro-Lifers at the university, following the university’s recent banning of pro-life groups. The university is banning these groups because they are anti-choice.


This is an official statement on behalf of the Freethinkers, Skeptics, and Atheists @ York Executive Council, objecting the York Federation of Students’ recent vote to ban pro-life groups on campus. This move by the YFS conflicts with the important human right to freedoms of speech and expression.

The YFS passed a policy over the weekend of June 1st to the effect of: “No YFS resources, space, recognition or funding will be allocated to enhance groups or individuals whose primary or sole purpose is anti-choice activities.”

The fact that this vote was passed without any student polling or student awareness greatly concerns us. A student government body such as the YFS should have taken the time to conduct referendums, hold public discussions and debates to include York Students in this issue instead of hastily passing this ban.

Freethinkers, Skeptics, and Atheists @ York calls for any student organization, club and body to support freedom of speech and demand that the York Federation of Students overturn their policy and grant equal privileges to student pro-life groups on campus.

If you have connections with any students or student organizations that might like to show its support in this issue, kindly forward this message.

FreeSAY will also be hosting an event centred on the issue of free speech in conjunction with the Centre for Inquiry Ontario later this summer.

Thank you sincerely,

Executive council,
Freethinkers, Skeptics, and Atheists at York

This is a clear indication of a true valuing of free speech and assembly, as the group is standing up for these rights for those whom they are diametrically opposed to.

4 Responses to “Canadian Freethought Group Stands Up For Free Speech of Pro-Life Group”
  1. This is brilliant news to hear. The people who say ‘I disagree with what you say, but defend your right to say it’ have been on the decline. We need to hear from them more often.

    I’m a pro-choice person – but I don’t want pro-choice to be enforced by a ban on pro-life speakers; I want pro-choice to be enforced by its merit of being the superior argument. Because if it isn’t the superior argument, I want to hear about it.

  2. matt says:

    Exactly U.C.!
    I have been saying lately (usually while tearing my hair out over the US Democratic Primary), it’s not about what you want to be right, but what *is* right. If you don’t hear them, and they don’t hear you, what good does it for the solution?

  3. Rachel says:

    This is especially refreshing in light of recent disturbing developments at the UN, where the U.N. Human Rights Council added an amendment to a resolution on Freedom of Expression that essentially advocates to prevent free speech with regard to religion.

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