Tags: One | Reporter's | Opinion | Family | and | Marriage | Are

One Reporter's Opinion — Family and Marriage Are Bad Words

Thursday, 07 June 2007 12:00 AM

It is this reporter's opinion, hot on the heels of the Don Imus controversy, that it's time to take another look at the First and 14th Amendments concerning rights to publish and speak freely.

There are plenty of over-the-top examples: Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" that exposed her breast, Bono's (U2 singer) profanity at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards, the vulgarities in the public broadcast of "Saving Private Ryan," and President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney blurting out of vulgar four-letter words.

A Christian organization, however, finds itself headed for the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge a lower court decision that found municipal employers could censor words such as "marriage, family values," labeling such words as hate speech that could scare workers.

This lawsuit developed when two women chose to create the "Good News Employee Association" in response to Bible-bashing by ranking Oakland city officials and the free reign given to radical left-wing groups over the city's e-mail and bulletin board.

A lower court decision could preclude a public employee from so much as mentioning the birth of one's child or that the parents were just married.

In the court's opinion, public employers are permitted to curtail employee speech as long as legitimate administrative interests outweigh the employee's interest in freedom of speech, that the Christians' speech rights (and these are the words of the court) are "vanishingly small."

While the Oakland fathers find it entirely proper to use the bulletin board and the city's e-mail system to promote speech concerning war, healthcare, peace, employee outsourcing, sports, racism, slavery, spirituality, hate, the gay-straight employee alliance, tolerance, homosexuality, "coming out," diversity, Christ, God, the Bible, sexuality, and a host of other topics, none of those topics was a problem.

But the city's supervisors ordered the two Christian announcements pulled down and issued a warning that such "homophobic" literature can lead to penalties including dismissal.

The decision was affirmed by Stephen Reinhardt (a Los Angeles liberal) and the Ninth Circuit Court which found municipalities have a right to dictate what form an employee's speech may take.

This incredible, devastating ruling has the practical effect of silencing thousands of city of Oakland employees who simply wish to talk about marriage and family values.

The mere publication of the Good News Employee Association's words was met with a direct threat of termination from employment.

Meanwhile Oakland's gay-straight employee alliance is openly allowed to attack the Bible in widespread city e-mails and to deride Christian values and Bible-believing Christians as hateful.

The attorney for the appealing group, Richard Ackerman, says that the Oakland city employees have actually referred to each other using the "N" word and other such derogatory terms in workplace speech.

But while they use the derogatory term, according to the courts, they are prevented from using terms such as natural family, marriage, and family values.

The "N" word is fine — but family values are banned!

Is this the new law of the land?

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It is this reporter's opinion, hot on the heels of the Don Imus controversy, that it's time to take another look at the First and 14th Amendments concerning rights to publish and speak freely. There are plenty of over-the-top examples: Janet Jackson's "wardrobe...
One,Reporter's,Opinion,Family,and,Marriage,Are,Bad,Words
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2007-00-07
Thursday, 07 June 2007 12:00 AM
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