- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
- Joint Chiefs chair Dempsey: Pentagon, VA too slow in merging medical systems
- Sen. Ben Cardin hits Ukraine for crackdown on Kiev protests
- Drone technology turns South, targets feral pigs to kill
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Better pack a lightsaber: House told space explorers could find alien life in 10 years
Lesson in selective tolerance
Question of the Day
People who don’t think the radical homosexual lobby is trying to force its views on society probably aren’t paying close attention. Increasingly, in various parts of this nation, if you express traditional views on traditional marriage, you risk being branded a bigot and your speech being muzzled.
For the radical homosexual lobby, it isn’t enough that its views are guaranteed full protection, even special protection by the state. They also want to ensure that those who disagree with them are demonized and denied their First Amendment rights.
The Washington Times’ Julia Duin reports on a lawsuit — Good News Employee Association vs. Hicks — originating in Oakland, Calif., that is being appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
The controversy arose when two employees of the city of Oakland formed the Good News Employee Association (GNEA) to challenge activities of a previously formed group of homosexual employees. The homosexual group and other radical left-wing groups had availed themselves of the city’s e-mail and bulletin board systems.
One e-mail message said, “I personally think the good book needs some updating.” According to the Pro-Family Law Center, “Other city-approved e-mails (during the same time period) announced establishment of an ‘altar’ for the Day of the Dead… ‘National Coming Out Day,’ ‘the first anti-Iraq war teach-in sponsored by a city government anywhere in the U.S.,’ and a ‘First Annual Holiday Mixer’ for the Gay-Straight Employee Alliance.”
When other employees questioned whether these communications were legitimate city business, a city council member fired back an e-mail saying a “celebration of the gay/lesbian culture and movement” was part of the city’s role to “celebrate diversity.”
The Times reports that, in response, GNEA posted a flier on the employee bulletin board stating, “Preserve Our Workplace With Integrity: Good News Employee Association is a forum for people of faith to express their views on the contemporary issues of the day.” It also said it opposed “all views which seek to redefine the natural family and marriage,” which it described as “a union of a man and a woman, according to California state law.”
A lesbian employee complained to the city attorney’s office that the flier made her feel “targeted” and “excluded,” which prompted a supervisor to remove it because it violated the city’s anti-discrimination rules.
But it didn’t stop there. A city deputy executive director sent a memo to city employees saying the GNEA flier “contained statements of a homophobic nature” and warned employees they could be fired for posting similar materials.
Two GNEA employees filed suit against Oakland, claiming a violation of their First Amendment rights, in view of the discriminatory practices of the city based on the content of the messages.
The district court rejected the claim, as did the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit opinion stated, “Public employers are permitted to curtail employee speech as long as their ‘legitimate administrative interests’ outweigh the employee’s interest in freedom of speech.” Legitimate administrative interests? You have to be kidding. It also approved the district court’s characterization of the GNEA employees’ speech interests as “vanishingly small.”
Unless the Supreme Court reverses these rulings, the words “natural family,” “marriage” and “union of a man and a woman” can be banned as hate speech in government workplaces, while Bible and traditional values bashing will receive the highest protection.
Can someone explain how the government has a “legitimate administrative interest” in forbidding the expression of biblically based views; how it is “homophobic” for government employees merely to affirm principles supported by the Bible and thousands of years of civilization, yet not heterophobic and Bible-phobic for government employees to directly trash the Bible and traditional values; how a lesbian employee can claim she was targeted and excluded when nothing was said or done to her, while the real victims, the GNEA employees, were genuinely “targeted” and punished?
Which side here is refusing to “live and let live”? Homosexual groups deny they are pressing for special rights and protection, but no one is shutting down their speech, branding them as hateful, bullying them with threats of firings, and publicly insulting the sacred principles in which they believe. Homosexual groups maintain they are promoting diversity, but seek to suppress diverse viewpoints by labeling them “hateful” and “hurtful.”
If people of traditional values don’t begin to stand up for themselves, their values, their rights and liberties, it won’t be long before it will be a crime, as it is in certain other countries, to recite or publish certain scriptural texts that make radical homosexual groups uncomfortable.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Doctors say profound new HIV treatment may prove the cure
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- EDITORIAL: Motor City meltdown
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Last call: State Dept. bought $180,000 in liquor before shutdown
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Obama: Growing income inequality 'defining challenge' of this generation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Career Doctor Cassi Fields prescribes valuable advice for anyone looking to find a career, nail an interview or earn a promotion.
Headlines from Associated Press and around the Internet
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.