CIRCUIT HATE SPEECH
By Jon Christian Ryter
June 20, 2007
On Oct. 11, 2002 a group of homosexual employees at the City of Oakland, California's Community & Economic Development Agency were given permission by Joyce Hicks, the Deputy Executive Director of the agency, to access the City of Oakland's email system to invite city employees to attend the the "National Coming Out Day" rally for gays and lesbians that afternoon. Attendees were asked to bring banners and placards to show that the gay and lesbian spirit thrived in Oakland. Not only was the email received by any homosexual or lesbian working for the city, it was also received by every straight person working for the city as well. A few of them were none to happy to see what they viewed as an inflammatory email in their mail boxes,
Two of those city employees, Regina Redferford and Robin Christy—who just happened to be Christians—were among those who were offended by the brazeness of the homosexual and lesbians—and the city officials who allowed them to blanket city employees with their inivitation to attend a gay and lesbian rally later that afternoon. They fumed about it through the fall. By Christmas they decided on a course of action. In January, 2003 they launched their "answer" to "National Coming Out Day." It was a family values organization called the Good News Employee Association—for the benefit of straight city employees.
Rederford and Christy posted their new organization on an Oakland city electronic bulletin board—the same one used by the gay and lesbian group to not only promote homosexuality, but to denouce the War in Iraq, and accuse Christians of racism against homosexuals. None of the topics posted by GNEA should ever have been construed by reasonable minds as hate speech since they dealt with family values, Christian marriage, and natural family life. They created a flyer which said: "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, adding that GNEA was opposed "...to all views which seek to redefine the natural family and marriage, which is defined as a union of a man and a woman, according to California State law."
The website encouraged local residents who agreed with their position to contact them. One of the flyers was posted by a photocopier at CEDA. A lesbian employee, Judith Jennings, took offense to the poster and notified her superior. A building supervisor who reports to Joyce Hicks, Calvin Wong (not named int he action) removed the poster because he believed it violated the city's antidiscrimination regulations. In the complaint Jennings filed against Rederford and Christy with her workplace superviser, Hicks, she said the homophobic poster made her feel "targeted" and "excluded." (Of course, the same could be said for Rederford and Christy who could logically argue that they felt targeted and excluded by the homosexual community's PR campaign in Oakland that accuses Bible-believing heterosexuals of bias and "homophobia" whenever they attempt to exercise their First Amendment right to speak out on the merits of the Biblical heterosexual lifestyle and traditional family values.)
Shortly after the poster incident Rederford and Christy were ordered by their supervisor Hicks and, tacitly, City Manager Bobb—who enforces city policy (and who is now the City Adminisrtrator and Deputy Mayor of Washington, DC)—to remove their posting from the city's internet bulletin board. The pair received a warning that the posting of "homophobic" material on the bulletin could "...lead to penalties up to and including dismissal." Instead of backing down, Rederford and Christy filed a lawsuit against Hicks, Bobb and the City of Oakland for violating their First Amendment right to free speech. The suit was filed in the US District Court for Northern California. In his opinion, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that because GNEA defined "traditional marriage" as a union between a man and a woman, that "...Plaintiffs' deposition testimony confrims the anti-homosexual import of their definition of a 'traditional family'." In Walker's view, by excluding homosexuals from inclusion in the definition of a "traditional family," GNEA engaged in hate speech and promoted a hate agenda. When homosexuals promote gay and lesbian marriage, they are also engaging in exclusion since, by its nature, gay and lesbian "marriages" entail a union between two males or two females. Why is the defense of traditional marriage hate speech, and the defense of homosexual marriage not hate speech? Both are merely "position" debates. However, since the federal government has embarked on an agenda of promoting homosexuality as a means of birth control, it serves their purpose to label Bible-believing Christians as hate-mongers.
According to Walker, employers—particularly when they are government agencies—possess the prerogative to define what hate speech is, and when it occurs. Since CETA defined the content of poster as hate speech, the court agreed with the City of Oakland's assessment. With respect to violating the First Amendment rights of Rederford and Christy, the Court argued that since the pair have alternate channels through which to publish their traditional family message, their First Amendment rights were not violated. Furthermore, Christy was told by Bobb's office that GNEA could continue to post on the city's website—providing she removed any references that are offensive to "gay people." Thus, in the court's view, they were not deprived of the right to use the website. Of course, with their message censored to remove the hate speech terminology—"natural family," "family values," and "marriage," all they would be able to post would be the group's name and address—but not the reason they existed.
Sadly, by co-mingling international law into the US Code, the US federal court system has succeeded in converting the unconditional rights and liberty possessed by Americans under the Bill of Rights into the conditional rights found in the UN Declaration on Human Rights. Under the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibing the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances." All of the restrictions are placed on government. None on the people.
However, in Articles 13 and 14 of the UN Covenant on Human Rights, we see the restrictions are shifted to the people with government serving as the grantor of conditional rights—and possessing the right to arbitrarily alter those rights whenever it deems necessary. Article 13 says: "Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations that are prescribed by law." Article 14 says: "The right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas carries with it special duties and responsibilitie, and restrictions, but these shall be only as such as are provided by law."
There has never been an amendment offered to alter our religious or civil liberty prerogatives under the First Amendment. Nevertheless, the courts no longer interpret our rights under the First Amendment as unconditional. Our "rights" are construed to be those provided under Articles 13 and 14 of the UN Covenant on Human Rights. How did it happen? The federal court system has codified the UN Declaration on Human Rights, and now couples it with the Bill of Rights when they define what your rights—and mine—are in Bill of Rights cases. Constitutional issues that were black and white a hundred years ago are now a very muddy grey. And, that's where the federal judiciary wants them.
If any Congressman or Senator even openly proposed abrogating your right to speak your mind on any issue, that politician would be tarred and feathered and summarily run out of Washington. Yet, the courts have succeeded in doing it without anyone even blinking an eye. How did it happen? We continue electing liberal Senators and liberal presidents who continue to nominate far left jurists who should not be sitting as a judge in traffic court to the highest federal judgeships in the land. They enter the federal judiciary with a mandate to "update" the US Constitution by erasing a few rights that the far left does not believe we need in a modern, transnational society. As long as we put liberals—whether Democrat or Republican—in office, our rights will continue to be erased. The far left minorities who are benefiting from these court decisions today will fall victim to their own allies down the road. Because once the rights of the majority are stripped from them, the rights of the minority will be gone, too. And we will all become the human chattel of the New World Order. (Note to Libertarians: the answer is not voting for third party candidates who cannot be elected since the conservative vote drain will always elect the most dangerous far left candidate standing. Our job is to fight to get those anti-big government candidates nominated on one of the two major parties—and then back that candidate all the way to the White House or the Senate.)
That, of course, is the reason Rederford and Christy lost their law suit in US District Court, and that is also why they also lost their appeal to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The US District Court disagreed with their position that their right to free speech was denied bcause they had other avenues to promote their message. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, on the other hand—looking at Article 14 and not the First Amendment, determined that the the free speech rights of people must take a back seat to the "legitimate administrative interests" of government. The 9th Circuit understood something the US District Court hadn't grasped—the Bill of Rights has been replaced with a universal doctrine—the UN Covenant on Human Rights. And with that doctrine comes the "greater freedoms" of the communist-slanted totalitarian Orwellian New World Order.
The Pro-Family Law Center of Temecula, California which represented GNEA in its appeal to the 9th Circuit on Feb. 15 of this year, is preparing to take this case to the US Supreme Court. When the 9th Circuit issued its ruling on March 6, 2007, Richard D. Ackerman, the president of the Pro-Family Law Center and its chief litagator, noted that "...[t]his incredible and devastating ruling has had the practical effect of silencing hundreds...of City of Oakland employees who simply wish to talk about marriage and family values."
And while the 9th Cicuit's legal ruling in Good News Employee Association v Joyce M. Hicks et al (Docket # 05-15467) is labeled as a "Memorandum" not for publication (except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3), it is a legal decision and is binding on everyone within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit.
9th Circuit Judges, Betty Binns Fletcher (a Jimmy Carter appointee),
Richard Clifton (a George W. Bush appointee) and Sandra Ikuta (also
a George W. Bush appointee), ruled that the GNEA argument had no merit
since public employers are permitted to curtail employee speech as long
as the legitimate administrative interests of the government agency
outweigh the employee's interest in freedom of speech. In the view of
the Founding Fathers, government's interests never outweigh the free
speech rights of the private citizen. Free speech, and the right to
own firearms, is what guarantees the American citizen liberty. The minute
the government ceases to fear the ability of the public to take back
the power it grants those it elects, liberty ceases to exist and tyranny
© 2007 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights
[Read "Whatever Happened to America?"]
Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.