A student senator at the University of California, Berkeley has found there is no tolerance when it comes to dissenting from the left.
Isabella Chow, a junior at the university with a double major in business administration and music, has been facing hateful backlash and demands for her resignation because of her religious views.
Fox News’ Laura Ingraham spoke with Chow on “The Ingraham Angle,” about being kicked out of her own party and being pressured to resign because she abstained from a largely symbolic student vote.
Chow, the daughter of Malaysian-Cambodian immigrants, was labeled “homophobic” and “transphobic” after she declined to vote on pro-LGBTQ bills because she disagreed with some of the clauses contained in them.
According to Fox News:
Two weeks ago, the Queer Alliance Resource Center (QARC) reportedly asked the student body to condemn the Trump Administration’s “proposed definition of sex under Title IX” defining individuals as being male or female as fixed from birth. The student government bills argued the definition is “trans-exclusive,” rolling back the Obama Administration’s added protections for individuals who identify as transgender from “harassment, denial of access to the student’s preferred restroom, and requirements regarding medical documentation.”
Chow’s former party, Student Action, left her with the decision to fully support the bills and the LGBTQ community or get ousted.
While Chow did not disagree with much of what was put forth, she explained how she had to dissent when some of the clauses came in opposition to her Christian beliefs.
“At the end, there were clauses that asked me to promote an LGBTQ identity and lifestyle and to promote organizations whose primary purpose is to promote the LGBTQ identity and lifestyle,” she said. “And I said, because of my Christian views and because I represent the Christian community on campus, I cannot fully support this bill.”
The Daily Californian ran an editorial slamming Chow and claiming she “dehumanized” people because of her beliefs and faith and accused her of creating a “toxic space for LGBTQ+ communities.”
Chow had condemned discrimination as “never, ever Ok” in her statement on the senate floor before the vote. She shared the transcript from that statement on her Facebook page and recapped the keys while speaking to Ingraham.
“I don’t see a conflict between being able to accept, love and validate you as an individual and yet not fully agreeing with how you choose to identify yourself sexually,” Chow told Ingraham.
“What they are accusing you of, they are now doing to you,” the Fox News host pointed out, noting how Chow’s experience is happening across the country as Christians are being “dehumanized” and targeted simply for acting – or not acting – on their religious beliefs.
Chow admitted she has been labeled with many derogatory slurs in person and online in the weeks since the vote as Ingraham noted how the efforts are all an attempt to shut down free speech. The student pointed to the hypocrisy as her affirmations that everyone deserves respect, love and even legal protection, were dismissed as she was met with backlash for asking for the same courtesy to be extended to her own Christian community.
More than one thousand students signed a QARC petition accusing Chow of violating the ASUC constitution and being unfit for office, while condemning her comments as “violent, hypocritical, and bigoted.”
At a meting on campus, Chow was attacked and urged to resign, although three students did stand up for Chow.
“Tonight is not about dismissing Christianity as universally toxic, but about validating the experience of those at the hands of bigots who have cowardly hid behind religion to justify their actions,” QARC Director Regan Putnam said.
Chow admitted in her interview with Ingraham that other students on the campus are “afraid” to support her by speaking out, which the Fox News host exclaimed is exactly the point as fear works to shut down free speech. She also noted the legal ramifications for the Berkeley campus as the student government is funded by the school.
“The university can say all they want,” Ingraham said. “But if one individual’s right to free speech is being denied and if you’re being effectively punished for what you believe, I think the university is in a heap of legal trouble.”
She concluded by telling Chow that she is “incredibly brave” and that feminists should be backing her right now.