FIRE calls on George Mason students to resist censorship after demands to cancel Youngkin commencement speech

A civil liberties group is urging students at George Mason University to respect differing viewpoints following their calls to remove Republican Virginia Gov.
George Mason University announced last week that Youngkin would deliver the commencement speech in May in front of the university's 2023 graduating class, which led to students demanding the governor be prohibited from speaking or attending the ceremony.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a nonprofit group that aims to protect free speech on college campuses, is asking the students to resist attempts to remove Youngkin as commencement speaker and instead engage with ideas they may disagree with.
"But calls for GMU to disinvite Youngkin are calls for censorship antithetical to students’ intellectual development and GMU’s mission to 'embrace a multitude of people and ideas.'"
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS LAUNCH PETITION AGAINST HOSTING YOUNGKIN AS COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER"We encourage GMU students to resist censorship and instead enter both their commencement ceremony and life after graduation with a willingness to engage ideas with which they may disagree," Tamburro continued.
Students started a petition at the university following the announcement to host Youngkin as the speaker for the May 18 commencement ceremony at EagleBank Arena.
He would become the latest sitting Virginia governor to address George Mason graduates, joining former governors Jim Gilmore, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and Terry McAuliffe.
Youngkin's proposals have included banning transgender students from using bathrooms or participating on sports teams that do not correspond with their biological sex, as well as banning critical race theory and sexually explicit books in schools.
"George Mason University prides itself on being one of ‘the most diverse institutions in the Commonwealth.’ Yet by having Governor Youngkin as this year's Commencement speaker, we believe that the University compromises its supposed values of centering students' experiences and overall well-being," she continued.
PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRAT CALLS ON UNIVERSITY TO ‘CANCEL’ SPEAKERS WHO QUESTION TRANSGENDER IDEOLOGYCLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe university's student government also released a statement opposing Youngkin as commencement speaker.
"George Mason University's current motto stands as, ‘fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’; however, the actions of the Youngkin administration demonstrate their commitment to the opposite.
George Mason University President Gregory Washington said in the announcement about Youngkin's upcoming speech that the governor's "drive for lifelong learning and his entrepreneurial mindset is what we cultivate in all of our graduates."