Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Important - Look what happened today -- we win again!!!!

Please check out today's first post about Repent America. This new post just came in a few minutes ago:

Breaking - Judge OKs limits on student speech in Poway case

By: North County Times

SAN DIEGO ---- A federal judge ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit against the Poway Unified School District that school officials can restrict student speech that expresses "damaging statements about sexual orientation" and can limit students to stating their views "in a positive manner."

U.S. District Judge John Houston reached that conclusion in a 12-page decision that affirmed a similar ruling he made a year ago. In January 2007, Houston granted the school district's request for a judgment in its favor on the legal claims Kelsie Harper, 16 at the time, raised in the lawsuit, and dismissed Tyler Chase Harper, 18 at the time, from the case.

The elder Harper, who goes by his middle name, alleged in the federal lawsuit that the district and school officials violated his constitutional rights in their response to him wearing a T-shirt to school in 2004 that said "Homosexuality is shameful. Romans 1:27."

Kelsie Harper was added to the lawsuit later, alleging that she wanted to express an identical message through her speech or clothing, but was prevented from doing so because of school policies.

Court documents stated Chase Harper was sent to the principal's office after he refused to comply with a teacher's directions to remove the shirt. He had to remain in a conference room at the school office, where he did his homework until the end of the day because he would not remove the shirt, court documents stated.

The district argued in court documents that school officials reasonably believed the T-shirt could cause a disruption among students and violated the rights of students and employees to be free from harassment because of sexual orientation.

Chase Harper was dismissed from the lawsuit because he already has graduated from Poway High School.

Attorneys for the Harpers asked Houston to reconsider his ruling from last year because the U.S. Supreme Court set aside an appeals court decision upon which Houston relied in making the earlier ruling.

The school district's attorneys urged Houston to apply a U.S. Supreme Court decision in an unrelated student speech case to the Harper case. The nation's highest court ruled last year that school officials can restrict student speech that can be interpreted as advocating the use of illegal drugs.

Houston wrote that the legal reasoning from that case supported a conclusion that the Harpers' speech "may properly be restricted by school officials if it is considered harmful."

The district properly restricted the "negative speech" on Harper's T-shirt for the legitimate educational concern of "promoting tolerance and respect for differences among students," Houston wrote.
What ugly day - Repent America needs to disappear

This Tuesday has been a drag.

My mother got her stitches from her broken ankle removed and I woke up to a possibly ear infection.

And damn, one of the most annoying bits of anti-gay industry propaganda makes yet another appearance via that bastion of fairness (eyes rolling) One News Now:

Eleven Christians arrested for expressing their beliefs publicly during a so-called "gay pride" festival in Philadelphia several years ago were in court Monday, seeking to have their lawsuit against the city reinstated.

The 11 individuals were arrested in 2004 at Philadelphia's "OutFest," a pro-homosexual event held on public property. The Christian activists were charged with various crimes for quoting scriptures while walking on a public street set aside for the event. Charges were dropped almost immediately against all but five of the Christians, and those five were later found not guilty of all charges.

According to attorney Joseph Infranco, those actions paved the way for a civil suit against the City of Philadelphia and the OutFest participants, claiming that his clients suffered constitutional harm as a result and arguing no one else should be subjected to such actions. "So this is a civil suit now, to make them accountable for their actions -- and filing those criminal charges was part of that," he adds.

The article goes on to make it seem (yet again) that the Repent America controversy was a case of Christians unfairly arrested for preaching the gospel.

For probably the one millionth time (okay it's an exaggeration), let's show the truth of the controversy via People for the American Way:

The story as told by Repent America and other Religious Right groups – most recently in two videotaped ads by grandmothers who participated in the Repent America protest against the festival – is that people were arrested merely for “sharing the gospel” on public property. The arrest of the protestors and subsequent charges against them on several counts – some under Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law – is, in the mythology of Repent America, proof that the goal of gay rights activists in general, and hate crimes laws in particular, is to outlaw the gospel.

The kernel of truth at the bottom of the propaganda pile is that the two grandmothers and others were in fact arrested while protesting Philadelphia’s OutFest, and a local prosecutor did charge them with violations of several laws, including the state’s hate crimes law.

But none of those charges were for “sharing the gospel.” Repent America doesn’t mention that a federal court later found that the women “insulted individual attendees, blocked access to vendors, and disobeyed direct orders from the police, who were trying to preserve order and keep the peace.” The police arrested the protesters only after “their presence disrupted public order.” Unlike the organizers of OutFest, Repent America leaders failed to obtain a permit from the city. The city and the police gave the women great leeway, but they still overstepped the bounds of peaceful protest.

It gets tiring at times to ask this but why do some people think that it is okay to lie in the name of God?

But it wasn't all a bad day. According to Jeremy via goodasyou.org, Matt Barber may be suffering because of the MRSA situation.

It has not been verified as truth as of yet, but it would be nice to see Barber reprimanded, even if it means a short "vacation" from the public eye.

Let's face facts: the MRSA situation proved that Matt Barber was out of his league. He was and is a religious right version of William Hung.

And his notoriety should have been up about 14 minutes and 30 seconds ago.