Religious Liberty Watch


Gay marriage advocate (and--like Ted Olson, the lawyer opposing Prop 8--a Federalist Society member) and law professor Dale Carpenter recently said he was advising a Minnesota gay rights group on how they could lawfully exclude a street preacher from handing out literature against homosexuality at a large gay pride even in a public park that 200,000 folks will attend.

Prof. Carpenter argues that the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which had a right to exclude pro-gay rights groups from marching, is the relevant paradigm. A federal judge just said "no go guys."  If the First Amendment means anything it means you can speak, preach, and hand out literature in a public park.  Nobody is going to think that the gay rights groups authorized his speech. "As a festival attendee in a public forum, Johnson is entitled to speak and hand out literature, quintessential activities protected by the First Amendment, so long as he remains undisruptive," Judge Tunheim wrote in the 19 page ruling, according to the WSJ.

A win for the First Amendment. But look how many establishment and "conservative" gay rights figures now believe the First Amendment means: we get to restrict your rights to disagree?