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Wowzers — “Marriage” Now Considered Hate Speech?

gay-marriage.jpgAccording to the Washington Times, the 9th Circuit has crossed a line. The case in question started out as a lot of petty bickering — in the city of Oakland, gays and lesbians wanted to celebrate diversity, while some obstinate employees sought to form a group to oppose “all views which seek to redefine the natural family and marriage.”

This, in turn, rightfully pissed off a lesbian co-worker, who felt excluded, and sued. The district court sided with her, concluding that the words “natural family” and “marriage” had “anti-homosexual import.” The obstinate employees basically defied that ruling and sued in their own right, claiming their First Amendment rights had been violated because they were unable to use those words in fliers to attract other employees to their anti-gay marriage group.

After the case went up on appeal, the 9th Circuit had its say. According to the Times, the 9th Circuit ruled that “the words ‘natural family,’ ‘marriage’ and ‘union of a man and a woman’ can be punished as ‘hate speech’ in government workplaces.” And initially, I was in a bit of an uproar myself — could this be true? Is using the word “marriage” actually punishable as hate speech.

I did a little more research and discovered that, as it turns out, the conservative Times was just parroting the words of Christian pro-family groups. According to Dispatches from the Culture Wars, the case had nothing to do with hate speech and, in fact, there isn’t even a hate speech crime at play.

None of this has anything to do with declaring phrases like “marriage”, “natural family”, or “family values” to be “hate speech.” They are completely distorting the ruling, which was very narrow and involved a very specific set of circumstances, as outlawing any speech about the subject. It’s a lie, plain and simple. And it’s a lie that they keep telling over and over again, told for the purpose of creating the perception that Christians are on the verge of being thrown in jail for advocating their beliefs. It’s all part of their very persistent PR campaign to strike the persecution pose.

Another lesson in the so-called objective reporting of a major newspaper, eh? The Times article wasn’t even in the opinion section, but if you read it, there’s nothing in there suggesting anything other than that the 9th Circuit has outlawed the term “marriage” in government workplaces. I think, perhaps, Julia Duin ought to return to journalism school and learn how to report objectively. Or else get a big fat promotion to an on-air personality over on Fox News.

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C'mon! The Washington Times has never been a real newspaper! What were you thinking? The Moonie/religious right rag would be objective? Please!