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Mexico University Grad Could Lose License to Practice Psychology After Giving a Speech with Biblical Worldview

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A 2022 graduate of the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in Mexico could lose his license to practice psychology for what he said during his graduation speech. 

Even though Christian Cortez Pérez's comments were made in an academic setting, a group made up of faculty members has called on the university to silence and sanction Pérez, labeling the content of his graduation address as "hate speech", according to ADF International, a faith-based legal advocacy organization. 

At the top of his class at the university's School of Medicine and Psychology, Pérez earned the right to deliver the commencement address at his graduation ceremony on June 27. In his speech, he voiced his deeply held moral convictions regarding the state of the world today on many issues, including the importance of the family and the sanctity of life.

During his address, Pérez called for the rejection of the redefinition of the family and radical gender ideology.

"Today we are deep into a real anthropological struggle to redefine the human being, the human person, man, through the implementation of ideologies and fashions of thought that always end up undermining dignity and freedom," he said. 

Pérez also quoted G.K. Chesterton on the destruction of the family: "People do not know what they are doing; because they do not know what they are undoing." 

He further noted that "to attack life and the family is to self-destruct, it is an attack on civilization itself" calling on his peers to live in solidarity with one another—"you have to love, no one seeks the good of the other if he does not love him."

"I exercised my fundamental right to free speech to address my classmates about what I believe are the most pressing issues of our time," Pérez said in a statement. "Now, I stand to lose my entire professional career because I expressed views with which some students and faculty disagree. Public universities must respect the free speech rights of all students, and I am committed to obtaining justice not just for myself, but for all Mexicans interested in preserving the right to freely express themselves."

According to the ADF, attempts have been made to silence and sanction the psychology graduate. A group made up of members of the university's faculty issued a "manifesto" calling on the university to sanction Pérez's so-called "hate speech" by: 1) withholding his academic degree and professional license, 2) withdrawing his merit award, and 3) alerting psychology associations across Mexico regarding his actions. 

In essence, the group's demands would ban Pérez from professional practice as a psychologist in Mexico. Their list of demands was presented to the University Council. 

Pérez was told on Aug. 4 that the school has initiated proceedings against him. He has submitted a counterclaim to protect his rightful interests. The university's final decision is expected in mid-September, according to the ADF. 

ADF International attorney Kristina Hjelkrem said, "If the campaign to punish Christian is successful, it shows that anyone who dares to speak in public in Mexico is in danger. This is a clear violation of international human rights law, reminiscent of dictatorships, not democracies."

CBN News has reached out to Daniel Octavio Valdez Delgadillo, Ph. D., the president of the Autonomous University of Baja California in Mexico for comment. We'll post it here if we hear back. 

Free Speech on Campus? Not So Much

As CBN News has reported over the last several years, students and teachers all over the world have found themselves the subjects of censorship campaigns, along with legal proceedings which threaten to harm both their reputations and careers. 

In November of 2021, the Loudoun County School Board agreed to a permanent injunction prohibiting it from retaliating against Leesburg Elementary School teacher Tanner Cross for expressing his constitutionally protected views on the board's transgender policy. 

Cross made headlines after he was suspended for telling the school board that he wouldn't address children by preferred pronouns because it violates his Christian beliefs. 

"I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them, regardless of the consequences," he said in late May. "I'm a teacher, but I serve God first, and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa, because it's against my religion. It's lying to a child. It's abuse to a child. And it's sinning against our God."

In an earlier ruling, the Loudoun County Circuit Court granted Cross' request for preliminary relief against retaliation by the school board. In September of 2021, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's ruling. The settlement makes Cross' job protection permanent.

Also in March of 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former Georgia college student who sued his school four years ago after officials prevented him from distributing Christian literature on campus. 

The high court sided 8-1 with the student, Chike Uzuegbunam, and against Georgia Gwinnett College. Uzuegbunam has since graduated, and the public college in Lawrenceville, Georgia, has changed its policies. Lower courts said the case was moot, but the Supreme Court disagreed.

The college changed its policy in 2017. Students can now generally demonstrate or distribute literature anywhere and at any time on campus without having to first obtain a permit. 

New Survey Exposes Campuses that Restrict Certain Speech

As CBN News reported last week, a new survey found if you have an opinion on the COVID-19 vaccine, racial inequality, or abortion, then Colombia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Georgetown University are listed among the worst places to go. 

The report conducted by FIRE (The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression) in partnership with College Pulse, ranked the best and worst college campuses to express your viewpoint.

The third annual College Free Speech Rankings is the largest report on student free expression, surveying 45,000 students across 203 of America's largest and most prestigious campuses.

Columbia University bottomed out as the worst institution for free speech. 

"They have a 9.91, rated fairly low," Sean Stevens, Senior Research Fellow for FIRE, told CBN News. "That would be an abysmal rating based on our speech climate classifications."

"Surprisingly, Columbia is pretty tolerant of liberal speakers but also relative to most of the other schools, they're fairly tolerant of conservative speakers… that's not why they do poorly," Stevens explained. "They get punished a lot for a number of scholar sanctions over the past four years."

The University of Pennsylvania sits at 202 out of 203 universities, according to the survey. 

"Like Columbia, {the University of Pennsylvania} does badly on disruptive conduct, openness, comfort expressing ideas, a component where we ask students how comfortable they are expressing their views," Stevens explained. "That could be a written assignment, in the classroom, in the quad, or the dining hall, social media."

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of