On behalf of Traditional
Values Coalition, I am offering this editorial to you as a discussion
topic in your broadcast medium. We believe this is a significant victory
for free speech and religious liberties. --- Frank York, TVC Editorial
Traditional Values Coalition Opinion Editorial For Immediate Release February 20, 2001
Professor Wins Lawsuit For Christians and Free Speech
By Rev. Louis P. Sheldon Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition
Washington, DC - Activist homosexuals in Pennsylvania just suffered a major defeat at the hands of a college professor and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. On a 3-0 vote, the federal court ruled that a school district's anti-harassment policy violated the free speech rights of two Christian students who wanted to speak out against homosexuality. The court's ruling affects schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Virgin Islands-and will have national implications.
The case was brought by Professor David Saxe, a Pennsylvania State University educator and a member of the State Board of Education. Prof. Saxe was represented by Bryan J. Brown, an attorney with the American Family Association's Center for Law & Policy.
In his lawsuit, Saxe argued that a 1999 anti-harassment policy passed by the State College Area School District, was a violation of free speech. The anti-harassment policy had criminalized any speech that was deemed to be offensive or which belittled an individual. The penalties varied from a warning to expulsion from school. Under this policy, Christian students were forbidden to make any negative comments about a person's sexual orientation-or they risked expulsion from school.
In the federal court's ruling, the judges noted that, "By prohibiting disparaging speech directed at a person's 'values,' the policy strikes at the heart of moral and political discourse-the lifeblood of constitutional self-government (and democratic education) and the core concern of the First Amendment. That speech about 'values' may offend is not cause for its prohibition."
Thankfully, these federal judges came down on the right side of free speech in this case-and their decision may have struck a deathblow to the politically correct movement in high schools and colleges.
Homosexual activists have labored long and hard to get so-called anti-harassment policies passed on college campuses. They have also worked hard to pass "hate speech" laws, which criminalize any legitimate criticism of homosexuality as a health hazard and as a perversion of normal sexual behavior.
This case may be the beginning of the end for anti-free speech school policies that provide legal protections for homosexuals. Christians don't leave their free speech rights at the door of the public school house. They, as well as others, have the right to express their opposition to homosexuality.
It is my hope that this court decision will be used in future lawsuits in other states where the First Amendment right to free speech has been stifled by homosexual activists. As attorney Bryan Brown has noted, "This is a resounding bell of freedom ringing in Philadelphia today reaffirming that indeed, students do not leave their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate."
Let that freedom ring on every high school and college campus!