ADVOCACY OF PUBLIC REJECTION
David E. Guinn
davideguinn at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 18 08:51:15 PST 2002
I think an interesting question arises in this case (I haven't read the opinion yet):
Culture War's Latest Round Won by City of San Francisco
A divided panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors didn't violate the Constitution when it passed resolutions in 1998 criticizing a religious coalition's anti-gay rhetoric. The resolutions were passed after the coalition took out a full-page newspaper advertisement criticizing all forms of sexual "sin," including homosexual and premarital sex.
The Rev. Donal Wildman and the American Family Association were violently attacked back in the 1980s (very unfairly, I thought, by such respectable sources as the NY Times, etc.) when they advocated that television stations refuse to broadcast certain programs like "Married With Children" and that consumers should boycott advertizers on those programs. (They were not advocating legal censure - merely seeking public condemnation.) It is interesting that when the shoe is on the other foot (i.e. somebody criticizes their position and advocates that their position not be accepted for broadcast) they sue.
If religion takes a public stand on a controversial issue of public concern - should they be free from counter argument by those holding different views? Does it matter that the opinion is expressed by a government entity? Would we say the same thing if the speaker was a non-religious group (i.e. should the government not criticize the KKK or el Queda - or even the Boy Scouts)?
David E. Guinn, JD, PhD
5032 N. Glenwood Ave. #3
Chicago, IL 60640
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