ATLANTA — Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.
Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.
Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.
With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment.
The LA Times is certainly slanting the news here. Look what they put at the end of the rather lengthy story:
Malhotra said she had been reprimanded by college deans several times in the last few years for expressing conservative religious and political views. When she protested a campus production of "The Vagina Monologues" with a display condemning feminism, the administration asked her to paint over part of it.
She caused another stir with a letter to the gay activists who organized an event known as Coming Out Week in the fall of 2004. Malhotra sent the letter on behalf of the Georgia Tech College Republicans, which she chairs; she said several members of the executive board helped write it.
The letter referred to the campus gay rights group Pride Alliance as a "sex club … that can't even manage to be tasteful." It went on to say that it was "ludicrous" for Georgia Tech to help fund the Pride Alliance.
The letter berated students who come out publicly as gay, saying they subject others on campus to "a constant barrage of homosexuality."
"If gays want to be tolerated, they should knock off the political propaganda," the letter said.
The student activist who received the letter, Felix Hu, described it as "rude, unfair, presumptuous" — and disturbing enough that Pride Alliance forwarded it to a college administrator. Soon after, Malhotra said, she was called in to a dean's office. Students can be expelled for intolerant speech, but she said she was only reprimanded.
So this woman isn't actually suing her university for the right to harass others, or the right to be intolerant (as the LA Times so judiciously puts it). She's suing for the First Amendment right to speak out against those with whom she disagrees. She's suing for the right to be free from official government (university) harassment--from college deans, no less!--because she doesn't share the official school views. "I'm OK, you're OK" only applies to those whom we think are OK, doesn't it? Don't agree with us, and you're no longer OK. In fact, you might get an official reprimand.
Notice how the lefties don't like Ms. Malhotra's views at all, and gleefully stifle her views, but she's the one who's intolerant. I've seen no evidence that she's harassing individuals or causing them any harm. She's tolerating them but not accepting them. Yes, she'd like them to go away, but they'd like her to go away, too. The difference here is that the forces that want her to go away are using the authority of the college to make it happen. That's a pretty big difference.