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Black Pro-Life Speaker Disinvited From Cornell

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

A black pro-life speaker has been disinvited from visiting Cornell, due to her Christian beliefs about sexuality.

Jannique Stewart is a pro-life speaker with the Life Training Institute. Earlier this year, Stewart had been invited to give a talk at Cornell University's Political Union (CPU) "regarding the fact that abortion is a moral wrong."


But in a Facebook post dated March 23, Stewart shared that she had been surprised to receive a phone call disinviting her from the event because of her outspoken beliefs regarding Biblical sexuality. Those beliefs included the ideas that sexual activity ought to be reserved for marriage, and that God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman.

Stewart stated in her post that it was made clear to her that those views are what led to her being disinvited. She also said that the university compared her to people holding pro-slavery and pro-holocaust views.

"It was explained to me that having someone on campus who believed the way I did was tantamount to allowing a racist to speak who held pro-slavery and pro- holocaust views," she wrote.

The group also told Stewart that they were concerned that students would be offended by her beliefs, which would result in their not being able to focus on or listen to her speech.

When she told the Cornell group that they were being overtly discriminatory by disinviting her over her conservative views, they decided not to disinvite her, but still suggested it would be preferable for another speaker to come in her place, who did not hold such views.


But Stewart held her ground and told the group that she would not consider stepping aside, and she would be looking forward to speaking to students on April 23. That’s when she received yet another telephone call, informing her that she was officially disinvited for a second time because of her outspoken conservative beliefs.

Later that same day, Princeton University's Robert George, who directs Princeton's Madison Program, shared Stewart’s story on Facebook and wrote:

"Evidently, no Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Orthodox Jew, or Muslim, who believes what his or her tradition of faith teaches about sex and marriage is permitted to engage in debate at the Cornell Political Union. Even someone who, following thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Musonius Rufus, Xenophanes, and Plutarch, holds to traditional morality on philosophical grounds without the benefit of scriptural revelation, is ineligible to be a debater. If Plato or Aristotle were around today, they would be barred. Think about that for a second."

"Among the most appalling practices of the contemporary left is its attempt to secure its position on sex and marriage by stigmatizing anyone who dissents from it as a "bigot' or "hater"--the equivalent of a racist--and thus excluding them and shutting down all debate," George wrote. "We're seeing this all over the country. It is a sin against the House of Intellect. The bullies who commit it need to be stood up to. Their victims need to refuse to be intimidated. And all men and women of goodwill need to stand with them."


"Where oh where are the old fashioned, honorable liberals?" George asked.

Cornell alumni Brad Smallridge accused Stewart of lying about why she was disinvited in a comment on her Facebook page, but has not yet offered another explanation.

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