“Indigenous

LifeChoices must be given the benefit of the doubt

Libertarianism is a double-edged sword – conservative voices are heard on campus: to decry their right to exist is to deny the liberty that dissidents are trying to defend.

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Debate over LifeChoice Sydney being officially accepted by the University of Sydney Union’s Clubs & Societies program was rife at the weekend.

The ideological mud-slinging has been rife; the discussion of procedural practice less so. Cries of discrimination, vilification, aggression, and marginalisation have rung far louder than those for liberty, freedom, and the right to discussion. Personally, this seems counter-intuitive.

Surely the brush that with one stroke paints a desire for open dialogue and freedom of association paints an acceptance of pro-life views with another. Libertarianism is a double-edged sword – conservative voices are heard on campus; to decry their right to exist is to deny the liberty that dissidents are trying to defend.

Whether LifeChoice will actually foster the debate it seeks to promote remains to be seen.

But, the issue facing the Board was whether the beliefs that underpin LifeChoice were sufficient rationale to establish a club or society. Niche interests and beliefs have formed the basis for societies before – but where the line can be drawn is a procedural grey area.

I am pro-choice. But this means I’m obliged to respect the beliefs of pro-lifers, on the proviso they in turn respect mine, and practice their own beliefs with that respect.

If you don’t like it, say so. If LifeChoices echoes your views, sign up. But the argument shouldn’t be one of ideology. There will be of time for vitriol if the club is found to breach anti harassment and discrimination policies.

This issue of Honi features analysis of the Board’s decision on page four, and a debate on the society’s merits on page seven.

This week’s edition marks the end of classes for Semester One, and with it, the end of Honi for now. We hope the semester has been fulfilling, and that these pages have given you something with which you can engage. Honi will be back in print the first week of next semester.

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