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  • The Same-Sex Marriage Threat to the First Amendment

    Both before California’s vote on Proposition 8 and after we warned about the threat same-sex marriage posed to religious liberty. Now in yet another example of how same-sex marriage threatens the First Amendment, a student is suing Los Angeles City College over free speech. The Los Angeles Times reports:

    Student Jonathan Lopez says his professor called him a “fascist bastard” and refused to let him finish his speech against same-sex marriage during a public speaking class last November, weeks after California voters approved the ban on such unions.

    When Lopez tried to find out his mark for the speech, the professor, John Matteson, allegedly told him to “ask God what your grade is,” the suit says.

    Lopez also said the teacher threatened to have him expelled when he complained to higher-ups.

    As Heritage scholar Tom Messner warned last year:

    Those who take the traditional view of marriage can encounter hostility even in the academy, where esteem for free speech and thought are often pro­claimed as cardinal virtues. For example, Gilbert Meilaender, a former professor at Oberlin College in Ohio, was vilified on campus after he joined a group of Christian and Jewish scholars in signing a state­ment about “the homosexual movement” that called for “a civil conversation about the kind of people we are and hope to be.” Students called for a boycott of his classes, others labeled him a “super bigot,” some talked about bringing charges against him through the college’s judicial system, and a quarter of the faculty signed a letter calling his views “intellec­tually naive.” Philip Turner, then dean of the Divinity School at Yale University, encountered sim­ilar outrage from students for signing the same state­ment, and another professor at a major university would not sign the statement in the first place “because it would jeopardize his grant applications to major foundations.” That such acts of hostility to religion might not violate any laws makes them no less opprobrious and redefining marriage will cer­tainly make them more difficult to combat.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to The Same-Sex Marriage Threat to the First Amendment

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Universities and Colleges are the seats of Left Indoctrination. Nothing is allowed to be publicly said if it is against Leftist beliefs in these "Seats of Higher Learning". "Big College" has been doing this for years and no one has been able to challenge it.

      This young student will probably be expelled for his efforts to speak his mind. What's worse is that he is speaking for what the People voted for and his Professor will not be punished for calling the young man a "Fascist Bastard". He probably has tenure and will not be touched.

    2. atty79 says:

      This article is so ridiculous. Talk about politicizing an issue. Any time you have an issue where people disagree you're going to find people who go over the top in their action. This professor probably did. This student probably did–we have no idea what he said. For all we know, he said "Kill all the homos". Would you, as a professor, allow that?

      And what does this have to do with the First Amendment? Over Dramatic!

    3. Irena7200, CA says:

      From what I've heard on Fox News, this student was giving an informational speech on another subject, I believe his faith, and mentioned same sex marriage in the course of his speech. However, it really doesn't matter. Even if he ranted and railed against homosexuality–it would be a very small return for the constant railing against Christianity and conservative values that happens every day in the colleges and universities.

      On another note–how it is that the California legislature is able to continue to find ways to go back on or get around what the people have decided? We passed Prop 22, we passed Prop 8, and yet they don't care. Is there any clearer revelation that our government is now its own entity–that it has become an elite group of people who play by their own rules and who do whatever they want once they are in power?

    4. Stephen, NC says:

      Maybe the student needs to learn that he has NO RIGHT to not be humiliated, especially when he is acting in a way that invites scorn. If you do something stupid, why be offended when someone calls you an idiot? Of courase, conservatives like this think that every opinion that THEY have should be inviolate … typical!

    5. jgrafton, CA says:

      Irena7200, the reason Prop 8 is up for discussion is that there are two means of changing the CA state constitution: a revision or an amendment. An amendment can be passed with a simple majority vote, and this is how Prop 8 came to pass. A revision requires passage with a two-thirds majority of both state legislative bodies, which would never happen in California since both bodies not once but twice (2005 and 2007) passed legislation allowing gay couples to marry. The legal argument at hand is whether the right to legally wed the person one loves is fundamental enough to require a revision.

      "Majority rules" in an absolute or irrefutable sense is not what kind of government we have. Any textbook for a Civics 101 class will explain it in depth for you.

    6. Tony M, CA says:

      Same-sex marriage is not a threat to the First Amendment. That is silly. This all falls under the same category as a KKK member offering messages of hate or intolerance toward blacks. They can believe whatever they want, but there are (and should be) limits on what they can do with those beliefs.

      None of us knows all the facts in this case. But in essence, certain things are protected and certain things are crossing the line and not protected. I'm sure the KKK finds the barring of things they would like to say a threat to the First Amendment too.

    7. Rusty, DC says:

      This is scholarly? Wow. Heritage is really lowering its stanards. Whining that the first amendment isn't sufficiently robust to stand up to legitimate public policy debate leads me to believe that this 'scholar' hasn't much constitutional law schooling.

    8. Dee, KY says:

      This article is ridiculous. Same-sex marriage didn't MAKE the professor act this way. Same-sex marriage didn't prevent the student from speaking his mind. The professor prevented him from speaking his mind. Would you say traditional marriage threatens the first amendment if a priest or other religious leader did something similar to a supporter of gay-rights? It's quite annoying when logically fallacious arguments are passed off as scholarly support for an agenda to pass laws/amendments based solely on religion. Let people follow their own religious views and not breech "freedom of religion" by making laws based on one group's.

      And as for the majority vote bit, I am glad we have a government setup to curb mob rule. What if 51% of a state's population voted to keep women from working? The system we have is designed to protect minorities, uphold civil rights, protect our freedoms, uphold the constitution, and prevent mob rule. (At least ideally)

    9. fern says:

      The amount of money spent by the Christians on Proposition 8 is a slap in the face of all the homeless people, the lies used by the Christians to gain their victory has made me sick with Christian people and this lopez can elope with god as much as he wants but not in a classroom. As for freedom of religion it seems the Christians are abusing it when a pope not so long ago said that the church was no democracy. You Christians are killing democracy. You are brainwashing people to your own purposes just like the Talibans are doing in the Muslim world.

    10. john says:

      LOL Same sex marriage poses a threat to same sex marriage? If the right wing and this foundation represent freedom and the rights of the citzens of the usa it should also represent the right for a human being to choose his or her own path. If that path is being gay they should be able to excerise their right of liberty. When did this country give groups of people the right to dictate what is moral and what is not. The bible talks of not acting as god, and the only one who can judge a human is him, so why does the religious right feel they have the right to judge. Also anyone who believes a person chooses to be gay is a idiot. I am a straight man and I could never ever see myself with a man, that is not something you decide you are born that way and should have the right to love another person the way you see fit. With so much violence, war, and killing it is insane that we spend this much time restricting love. It is just amazing to me. Way to go heritage on wasting a blog that could be about the economy, on the war, on healthcare no you would rather talk about how wrong being gay is. Get off your high horse and quit trying to play god by dictating morals.

    11. Alexa CT says:

      yah John…sure you are straight. For all the Leftist Gay Pride stuff…gays sure are deeply deeply upset and hostile about being gay. ALL of your postings scream it!!!!

    12. Robert Day ,Laurel I says:

      John,aparently you don't understand or refuse to understand letting people act as they wish leads to anarchy.Societies that allow this kind of behavior tend to destroy themselves. Facts are, gay and bisexual loose up to 20 years life expectancy because of disease. Maybe we should put a warning on their marrage license just like we do on cigarette packs! No,we on the right don't hate or dislike homosexuals,we hate what it will eventually do to a nation founded on Christian beliefs.

    13. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      I don't agree with the lefts' premis at all. First and ONLY, MARRIAGE is from GOD. It IS,and HAS ALWAYS been a religious act. A gay "couple" have every right-off tax wise as I do and every other "right" afforded a Californian. Call it what it is. The first commandment is to have no other gods before ME. The gay community says it is thier "right" to be called married. No such luck. Marriage is not a "right" under mans laws. It is a blessing under GOD. What you are asking of me to let you get married as a gay individual is to take "your" word over that of GOD. By doing so, you would have me violate my religious beliefs. I will not be dragged down by any false reasoning you may use to get your way either. It is as I have stated broken down to the real problem. You want the American people to take your word over GOD. The biggest problem I have with your arguement is that you have the EXACT same right as I do to "MARRY" an individual of the opposite sex! You CHOOSE not to. THAT is not my problem. It is yours.

    14. Ron, Derry NH says:

      Foundations are easily chipped away at until they undermine all things. I find it egotistical that a gay couple would want to take some one else's title or accomplishment such as marriage and steal it to define themselves.

      The marriage contract was instilled in society to protect children by binding the parents under a law that seemed higher than any social misfortune that they would encompass, their God. It has become under stress in modern society due to many variables not the least of which is peoples cheapening its value. The children suffer as does the culture.

      I don't begrudge a gay couple the right to couple and contract themselves to each other; but I don't feel stealing a word, or a valued position that has had a meaning for 100s of years as their reward. It seems we are constantly chipping away at things that have meaning and value and making them unique to the point they haven't much a of a meaning any more.

      Thanks to a cultural direction that wants to give away merit and erase the earning of worth.

    15. John Roanoke Va. says:

      We need to look at ours childen. Thay need a father and mother.

    16. George Seevers (Texa says:

      Of course, it is hopelessly out of vogue to mention that in Romans chapter one, the Apostle Paul declared that homosexuality is a sign that judgment has already come.

    17. mike, london says:

      too bad. the student was unable to state why same sex marriages are wrong. gee, what a blow for religious liberty. it's so sad when just because you hold an unpopular view, like say, ethnic cleansing, peadophilia or 'traditional' marriage advocates are persecuted. what ever hapened to honoring all opinions, no matter how inane, dangerous or offensive they may be? give me a break. religious liberty? i mean really, what you have here is someone choosing to support an opinion without any reasoning, and then using freedom of expression to defend this moronic behavior. so now any behavior, thought or ideal can be presented as religious belief- there something that won't be abused anytime soon.

    18. Lisa, NY says:

      First of all, the teacher behaved very unprofessionally by screaming childishly "Fascist bastard". Speaking against gay marriage doesn't render one a fascist. So long as you are not intent on denying gay couples their entitlements, you are free to uphold whatever opinion you want. I am Christian and I am not against gay marriage, but if I were I would want to be allowed to express it. But I just love, how people talk so much against Christian hypocrisy while being blinded to the other types of religions that do much worse than ban gay marriages. If you try homosexuality in Saudi Arabia, you'll get FAR worse than "Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" rants. So whoever compared Christians to Muslim terrorists, sorry but that was a very lame and strained attempt.

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