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Georgia Tech
student sues for right to be antigay

Georgia Tech
student sues for right to be antigay

Effort part of growing movement to allow religious intolerance of gay people.

A Christian student at the Georgia Institute of Technology is suing the school for the right to be intolerant of gays. Ruth Malhotra, 22, filed suit last month with a Jewish classmate in the hopes of overturning Georgia Tech's ban on antigay speech, the Los Angeles Times reports. Malhotra, chair of the Atlanta university's College Republicans, believes she should be able to express freely her religious views opposing homosexuality, although what she considers freedom of expression is seen as harassment by others. In 2004 she sent a letter to a gay student activist that described the campus's gay rights group Pride Alliance as a "sex club...that can't even manage to be tasteful," adding that it was "ludicrous" for the university to fund the group. Malhotra was later reprimanded by the dean. She also raised the administration's ire when she protested a school production of The Vagina Monologues by displaying a sign that condemned feminism, part of which she was forced to paint over. "Whenever I've spoken out against a certain lifestyle, the first thing I'm told is, 'You're being intolerant, you're being negative, you're creating a hostile campus environment,'" Malhotra told the Times. Her suit against Georgia Tech, filed by the conservative legal group the Alliance Defense Fund, is part of a growing campaign by the Christian right to invalidate all kinds of common tolerance initiatives at schools and businesses across the country, including diversity training promoting the acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes, and antidiscrimination protections. The goal is to eliminate all policies protecting LGBT people from harassment. The argument of groups like the Christian Legal Society, which recently formed a national group dedicated to challenging such policies in federal court, is that by preventing discrimination against gay people, conservative Christians are then discriminated against. "Christians are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian," said the Reverend Rick Scarborough, a leading evangelical. (The Advocate)

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