GOOD NEWS AT THE 9TH CIRCUIT|
from the 'Legal Issues' topic
Source: In House
Author: Scott Lively
One of the first cases in the nation to directly pit the First Amendment against sexual orientation anti-discrimination policies.
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By ATM President Scott Lively
One of my first clients as a new lawyer was the Good News Employee Association, formed by two female African-American employees of the City of Oakland, California. They formed Good News to offer a Christian alternative to the Gay and Lesbian Employee Association which had been given free access to the employee bulletin boards and city-wide employee e-mail system (which the "gays" used to promote such activities as National Coming Out Day and a Rally against Bigotry). When Good News president Regina Rederford posted a flyer inviting employees to protect “the natural family, marriage and family values” in the workplace, her boss tore it down and then circulated a memo to the entire agency threatening termination for anyone who posted and such “homophobic” material in the future.
Our lawsuit against the City of Oakland became one of the very first cases of the Pro-Family Law Center which I had founded in 2000. Unfortunately, the court which heard the case was based in the "gay" bastion of San Francisco and we received a horrible ruling which not only affirmed the right of the City of Oakland to discriminate against Christian speech (agreeing with the City that the term “natural family“ is a term of discrimination), it also specifically preserved the right of other employees to use anti-Christian slurs such as “homophobe” in the same workplace. We had an expectation of winning this case because the judge who heard it is known as a staunch defender of the First Amendment. However, as this case tends to prove, “gay rights” has become the new sacred cow of liberalism, trumping all competing issues.
Our appeal of the Good News case is scheduled for oral argument on February 15, 2007 in a special session to be held at Stanford University Law School. A panel of three federal judges of the 9th Circuit will hear our argument before an audience of law students. Although I have resigned from the PFLC (to have more freedom to work with other Christian legal organizations on an as-needed basis), I remain co-counsel on the Good News case and will appear on its behalf along with PFLC President, Richard Ackerman. We covet your prayers for a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit (it will take a miracle), and your further prayers for the U.S. Supreme Court to accept the case if we get another bad ruling at this level.
The Pro-Family Charitable Trust issued a grant (PFCT Grant #24) of $1,000 to the PFLC to cover some of the costs associated with the appeal, but we need to raise additional funds to keep this critical case alive. To help please visit www.defendthefamily.com/help/donate.php
The PFCT also issued grant #25 in the amount of $500 to Regina Rederford to help launch Emmanuel’s Coalition, a new 501(c)(3) established to organize the African-American community in defense of family values. To learn more about the PFCT visit www.defendthefamily.com/pfct/