ADVOCACY OF PUBLIC REJECTION
Mark.Scarberry at PEPPERDINE.EDU
Fri Jan 18 10:46:07 PST 2002
Suppose the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted the following
resolution: "(1) We condemn fundamentalist Christians for their hatred of
sexual minorities. (2) Fundamentalism in any religion is dangerous. (3)
Public spirited citizens will avoid becoming involved with fundamentalist
Doesn't this violate Justice O'Connor's endorsement test? This is an
endorsement of a view of a particular view of religion, and it attempts to
make "outsiders" out of those who have particular kinds of religious faiths.
Is the actual resolution adopted by the SF Bd of Supervisors
distinguishable? Suppose the Bd adopted only sentence (1)? (2)? (3)? some
combination of them?
Mark S. Scarberry
Pepperdine University School of Law
mark.scarberry at pepperdine.edu
From: David E. Guinn [mailto:davideguinn at YAHOO.COM]
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 6:51 AM
To: RELIGIONLAW at listserv.ucla.edu
Subject: ADVOCACY OF PUBLIC REJECTION
I think an interesting question arises in this case (I haven't read the
<http://www.law.com/students/> Culture War's Latest Round Won by City of
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
David E. Guinn, JD, PhD
5032 N. Glenwood Ave. #3
Chicago, IL 60640
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