conservatives' pressure, Georgia Tech University agreed
earlier this week to remove parts of a speech code
prohibiting students in on-campus housing from
verbally injuring gay and lesbian classmates, among
others. A U.S. district court judge ordered the school to
abide by the decision, which it made after being sued,
with the help of a Christian law firm, by two
conservative students who claimed their right to free
speech was being undermined by the code, The Atlanta
"Tech students now won't have to enter a zone of
censorship when they walk on campus," David French, a
lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which has aided
similar lawsuits around the country, told the paper.
"They now have the same rights as every Georgian."
The court order means the speech code is now
under judicial supervision--if Georgia Tech
wants to amend it in the next five years, it has to go
back to court. The changes affect the on-campus housing
speech code specifically and not the overall code of
conduct governing students' behavior in general,
Georgia Tech officials say, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Students Ruth Malhotra, a conservative
Christian, and Orit Sklar, president of the Jewish
student organization Hillel, filed suit earlier this
year claiming the speech code compromised their ability to
espouse their antigay and antifeminist views, among
other unpopular opinions. They also complained that
Georgia Tech, a public university, did not fund
political or religious activities by students while allowing
a gay group to operate on campus.
A similar lawsuit recently forced Penn State
University to alter its own speech code. (The