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House Panel Considers Campus Free Speech

American Legislative Exchange Council

With U.C. Berkley administrators taking heat for cancelling an appearance by conservative lightning rod Milos Yiannopoulous, the Goldwater Institute is pitching a “Campus Free Speech Act” in the Florida Legislature.

The Institute’s Stanley Kurtz urged a House panel to ban campus free-speech zones and protect unpopular speakers from being shouted down. But Orlando Democrat Carlos Guillermo Smith worries the rules will go too far.

“Universities make the decisions that they have the power to make to not give provocateurs and folks who promote hate speech, a large platform.”

Guillermo Smith, an LGTBQ activist, said University of Central Florida students should be free to protest groups spreading Nazi images on campus.

Republican freshman Amber Mariano says her fellow college students welcome speakers with opposing views, no matter how controversial.

No bill has yet been filed.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.