British Campuses Debate Ways to Balance Freedom of Speech and Religious Sensitivities

Should the Audience Be Seated by Gender? 1

Image by © Peter Marshall, Demotix, Corbis

Demonstrators outside the offices of the main British higher-education association protest its recent guidance to allow gender segregation at certain events.

Britain's leading higher-education association recently sought to offer guidance on a tricky question: When a university invites an orthodox religious speaker to campus, should it allow the audience to be segregated by gender?

Universities UK, which represents the vice chancellors of British universities, responded with a conditional "yes."

While the advice was buried deep inside a mundanely titled report, "External Speakers in Higher Education Institutions," released in