Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund urged officials in a letter to refrain from violating her free speech rights. Popa, received a voice mail from the school within a few hours that her statement will be read at the commencement ceremony.
“Christian students shouldn’t be silenced when expressing their beliefs at public universities and are entitled to the same rights as all other students,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker.
“We are pleased that UCLA officials understand that denying religious liberty to students is a violation of the First Amendment, not a requirement of it. A personal statement at a graduation ceremony is exactly that—personal—and in no way signifies an endorsement of religion by the school. We commend UCLA for acting quickly to protect Ms. Popa’s constitutional rights.”