University of California

Why did the Wichita Eagle go into full-force 'activist mode' in reporting on California travel ban?

Why did the Wichita Eagle go into full-force 'activist mode' in reporting on California travel ban?

The phrase "travel ban," included in the headline above, will evoke all sorts of thoughts in America's current political state of mind.

Feel free to dismiss them. 

This post is about an actual news story concerning a real, live, travel ban. And Donald J. Trump's red-hot executive-order pen has nothing to do with it.

California, the one-time republic now part of the United States, has implemented a September 2016 law prohibiting the state and its agencies from spending money in places where alleged "discrimination" against gays is practiced, the Wichita Eagle, published in the state's largest city, reports:

California has banned state-funded travel to Kansas after determining that the Sunflower State is one of four in the nation with laws that it views as discriminatory toward gay people.
The policy could prevent public universities in California from scheduling sporting events with Kansas teams and raises the question of whether teams will travel to Wichita in 2018, when the city is scheduled to host two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
“California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,” states the California law, which was passed in September. The law prohibits state agencies and universities from using state dollars to pay for travel to states with laws it views as discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. There are a few exceptions, such as for law enforcement purposes.
Kansas is on the travel prohibition list because of a 2016 law that enabled college campus religious groups to require that members adhere to their religious beliefs and standards. That law was crafted partially in response to a controversy in California that occurred when a Christian student group lost recognition on California State University campuses for failure to comply with an “all comers” non-discrimination policy in 2014.

Unlike those controversial bills in North Carolina on transgendered people and bathrooms, or the since-amended Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Kansas law makes no specific mention of sexuality but merely allows campus-based religious groups to require that leaders and members adhere to the group's beliefs.

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Los Angeles Times wades into latest SoCal thicket on campus political speech

Los Angeles Times wades into latest SoCal thicket on campus political speech

California has been one of flashpoints in political-correctness-on-campus controversies for many years. One that made it to the US Supreme Court was Christian Legal Society v. Hastings,  a 2009 case that ruled against a CLS chapter at the University of California/Hastings that required its leaders to live according to the chapter’s core religious beliefs. One of those beliefs was a prohibition against extramarital sex; a stricture that gay students found offensive, hence the lawsuit. We covered that here and here.

Another was a flap at UC Irvine where a group of Muslim student protesters in 2010 disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador. Others objected to the punishment meted out to those students. And earlier this year, several student government leaders at UCLA questioned a Jewish student’s eligibility for a campus judicial panel on the grounds that she could not be expected to be impartial. Also this year, the UC Irvine student government voted to ban all flags – including the American flag – from a section of campus.

Thus, it wasn’t a big surprise to read the next salvo in this war in the Los Angeles Times:

On the eve of what is expected to be a contentious debate over a proposed new UC policy statement on bias and free speech, the head of the UC regents board defended what are called “principles against intolerance" on Wednesday.

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