Defend the “Natural Family” in Oakland? You Might Be Guilty of “Hate Speech”

UPDATED Mar 6, 2007 — According to Appeals Court Sides With Oakland on Removal of “Natural Family” Sign, by Bob Elgecko, published Mar 5, 2007, by San Francisco Chronicle:

…The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s decision two years ago dismissing a lawsuit by the two employees, founders of a religious club called the Good News Employee Association.

In his February 2005 ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said the two had other means of communicating their views, such as talking to co-workers during lunch breaks. He also said the city was entitled to enforce its ban on harassing gay and lesbian employees.

Continue reading at San Francisco Chronicle…

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Excerpted from ‘Natural Family’ Called Derogatory to ‘Gays’, published Feb 15, 2007, by WorldNet Daily:

A special session of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being held today at the Stanford University Law School where lawyers are arguing whether the words “natural family, marriage and family values” constitute “hate speech” that could intimidate city of Oakland workers.

The words were used by two city employees who wanted to launch a group of people who shared their interests and posted a notice on a city bulletin board after a series of notices from homosexual activists were delivered to them via the city’s e-mail system, bulletin boards and memo distribution system.

But Robert Bobb, then city manager, and Joyce Hicks, then deputy director of the Community and Economic Development Agency, ordered their notice removed, because it contained “statements of a homophobic nature” and promoted “sexual-orientation-based harassment.”

The women, Regina Rederford and Robin Christy, also were threatened with firing from their city jobs because of their posting, according to their lawsuit against the city, which alleges Oakland’s anti-discrimination policy “promotes homosexuality” and “openly denounces Christian values.”

Attorneys Scott Lively and Richard D. Ackerman are arguing on behalf of the women in the First Amendment case that Christians have equal rights at work to use neutral language to talk about same-sex marriage and other issues.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker had ruled in 2005 that Oakland had a right to prevent the employees from posting a Good News Employee Association flier promoting traditional family values on the office bulletin board, even though homosexual city workers already had been using multiple communications systems in the city to promote their message to other workers, including the plaintiffs.

In response to the announcement about the formation of a “gay and lesbian” association, the two workers announced their own informal group that respects “the natural family, marriage and family values.”

Walker later ruled that the two did not have their First Amendment rights violated and that federal anti-discrimination protections afforded to gender, race and religion did not apply.

City Attorney John Russo has promised the city will fight “vigorously to defend the policies and practices” of the city.

Ackerman, Cowles & Lindsley, said the case is significant because the 9th Circuit sets precedents for a large part of the western United States, and its decision could be used against millions of workers whose speech is subject to punishment by employers who denounce Judeo-Christian values in their agendas…

Ackerman’s’ firm represents the women and said the Pro-Family Law Center and Abiding Truth Ministries have helped underwrite the thousands of dollars it has cost to fight the city’s aggressive censorship of the plaintiffs.

Continue reading at WorldNet Daily…

This article was posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2007 at 9:29 pm and is filed under Christian Persecution, Court Decisions & Judges, GLBTQ Lawsuits & Retribution, News, Not with MY Tax money!. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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