Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Free speech for me, but not for thee, in Oakland

George F. Will calls our attention to this 9th Circuit decision (district court opinion here). At issue is the right of a group of Christian city employees to publicize their organization as "a forum for people of Faith to express their views on the contemporary issues of the day. With respect for the Natural Family, Marriage and Family Values." This, in a context where gay city employees have publicized their interests in the same way. Here’s Will’s analysis:

The city government said the flier was "determined" to promote harassment based on sexual orientation. The city warned that the flier and communications like it could result in disciplinary action "up to and including termination."


Effectively, the city has proscribed any speech that even one person might say questioned the gay rights agenda and therefore created what that person felt was a "hostile" environment. This, even though gay rights advocates used the city’s communication system to advertise "Happy Coming Out Day." Yet the terms "natural family," "marriage" and "family values" are considered intolerably inflammatory.


The treatment of the GNEA illustrates one technique by which America’s growing ranks of self-appointed speech police expand their reach: They wait until groups they disagree with, such as the GNEA, are provoked to respond to them in public debates, then they persecute them for annoying those to whom they are responding. In Oakland, this dialectic of censorship proceeded on a reasonable premise joined to a preposterous theory.


The premise is that city officials are entitled to maintain workplace order and decorum. The theory is that government supervisors have such unbridled power of prior restraint on speech in the name of protecting order and decorum that they can nullify the First Amendment by declaring that even the mild text of the GNEA flier is inherently disruptive.

Why can’t we all just get along? The distance from the GNEA flyer to harassment is so great that the city’s response is outrageous. Endorsing and responding to the concerns of the single gay employee who objected creates a "hostile environment" for traditional religion. Not that either the city or the objector cares about that....

Discussions - 12 Comments

Why can’t we all just get along?

1. Perhaps it is in the nature of things that sexual practice, social relations influenced by sexual practice, and the ethic that attends the two have a limited number of equilibria; and that in a given regime, the ethic which articulates the principles of alternative regimes must be understood to be disgusting and unspeakable.


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2. That aside:

There are critics of the gay subculture (e.g. the psychologist G.J.M. van den Aardweg) who maintain that a sense of being injured (without any necessary relation to objective circumstances) and a sense of oneself as a pathetic being are defaults in the mind and heart of the representative homosexual. If that is correct, one might expect a certain omniverousness in expressions of grievance to be the norm in social organisms that do not have mechanisms in place to dismiss or suppress them.


Consider Thomas Sowell's notion that exercises in self-congratulation are the motor for much of our discourse on social and political questions, and that attending to the grievances of 'mascot groups' are an opportunity for 'the Anointed' to congratulate themselves.

There might thus be a symbiosis between the (chronically aggrieved) homosexual and the person in institutional authority who aggrandizes himself by ministering to the aggrieved party through punishing the benighted sorts who have abraded his sensibilities. Thus, we would not 'get along' because there are ego satisfactions to be had (for some) from these sorts of conflicts

It's one more example of how advocates of the gay lifestyle have long since moved past simple "tolerance" as their objective. They abandoned "equality" as an objective some years back. What they insist upon now is full-throated celebration of their preference as superior.

My guess is they will never go so far as to mandate others be gay. That would reduce the exclusivity of the practice.

So, in the end, what they really seem to want is their own exclusive enclave, and everyone else forced to stand on the sidelines and applaud wildly.

Yeah, this decision is unreasonable. But then so is the practice of kicking Gays out of the military, and setting up constitutional amendments to specifically exlude them from certain domestic rights. Perhaps in the larger scheme of things, the scales arer evened.

Well, I'm not sure the scales should be made even by destroying the rights of the straight majority. Court cases like these, in my eyes, really hurt the equality the gay community has and still (every once in awhile) legitimately attempts to gain and preserve. I wish they would stop focusing on creating the "full-throated celebration" Don speaks of and focus on the actual problems ("Don't Ask Don't Tell", silly amendments to the national Constitution, state legislatures banning gay marriage and, sometimes, civil unions for homosexuals, etc.).

But then so is the practice of kicking Gays out of the military,

That particular policy has been in effect for at least ninety years. The current crop of serving soldiers knew that was the deal when they entered. It is the preferred policy of the institutional military, and is derived from what is the right relation between men living in close quarters (non-eroticized fraternity).

and setting up constitutional amendments

A constitutional amendment is necessary due to the penchant of the appellate courts for conjuring 'rights' out of thin air. The people advocating an amendment are not to blame for the intellectual frauds perpetrated by the judiciary on behalf of favored pressure groups.


to specifically exlude them from certain domestic rights.

"Excluded" because the collectivity has its own ideas about optimal social architecture, about what sort of obligations and promises can be properly enforced, about the degree of deference to be granted various sorts of human affiliations, and about the proper use of terminology of ancient pedigree.


Perhaps in the larger scheme of things, the scales arer evened.

No. There were no fouls to begin with.

("Don't Ask Don't Tell", silly amendments to the national Constitution, state legislatures banning gay marriage and, sometimes, civil unions for homosexuals, etc.).

Obligations inherent in marital compacts have no force unless they are recognized in civil or canon law. There is no sense in talking of 'banning' 'gay' 'marriage'. It is not a thing that exists to begin with, and legislatures are making use of their discretion to not bring it into existence and to prevent our rogue judiciary from doing so. The collectivity is under no obligation to grant any degree of deference to the transaction between so-and-so and his bunkmate.

And if the lot of you want the Constitution unsullied by matrimonial law, call off your shysters.

Todays liberalism has a lot in common with fascism.

The same claim can be made with conservatism, but, as of late, liberals in America are demonstrating that they are not immune to power and control issues and are extemely ready to stamp out any thought or action that goes against their world view.

Oh for pete's sake, kids! How does allowing two adults who love each other to marry threaten marriage? Why is it necessary to specifically forbid Gays from marrying, and not, say, blacks or jews?

Todays liberalism has a lot in common with fascism.

Must differ with you on that assessment.

One sometimes gets the impression that the judiciary, the professoriate, the press, and the helping professions have an anthropologist's regard for the rest of us. This is deplorable, but in a manner rather different than was Mussolini's regime.

Oh for pete's sake, kids! How does allowing two adults who love each other to marry threaten marriage? Why is it necessary to specifically forbid Gays from marrying, and not, say, blacks or jews?

I love both my aunt and my sister. I cannot marry either one of them, much less both at the same time. And that is as it should be.

Art Deco, I have trouble understanding the immediate jump from homosexuality to incest, bestiality and polygamy that is so often made by gay marriage opponents. Maybe it's just me, but I don't see any slope slippery enough to allow a serious incest-rights candidate to get anywhere in American politics.

My point was that only a limited segment of human relations are given the sort of legal or canonical recognition implied in the term 'marriage', and that in that context, an association between two men is not analagous to an association between and man and a woman.

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