The following release came in a Sept. 16 email from Life Legal Defense Foundation.
As pro-life sidewalk counselors have experienced for years, there is often one set of rules for free speech at abortion clinics that bears little resemblance to the rules that apply everywhere else. These rules have been springing up all over the country and have unfortunately been upheld by the majority of reviewing courts. Most recently, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Massachusetts’ buffer zone law which was designed to keep pro-life speech activities a minimum of 35 feet away from the entrances to abortion clinics.
This ruling has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and Life Legal Defense Foundation is preparing to file an amicus brief to highlight the constitutional infirmities of laws such as Massachusetts’ scheme. The brief asserts the interests of Life Legal and of Rev. Walter Hoye, the courageous pastor who stood for life in Oakland, California. Rev. Hoye was convicted of violating Oakland’s “bubble” law, and was ultimately sentenced to thirty days in jail for his refusal to agree to stop his speech activities at the clinic. His conviction was later reversed on procedural grounds and Rev. Hoye won his civil challenge against the City of Oakland. In considering Rev. Hoye’s challenge to Oakland’s law, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal stopped short of striking down the ordinance on its face despite its obvious violations of the First Amendment.
Unfortunately, state and local governments have felt free to target pro-life speech by pointing to Supreme Court precedent upholding such measures, such as Hill v. Colorado. As these laws have been enforced, however, it has been proven over and over that they are being used as a tool to silence pro-life speech. Such a result cannot be squared with the First Amendment.
Life Legal’s legal director Katie Short refers to this type of measure as an “injordinance” because it combines elements of an injunction and an ordinance.
From Life Legal’s amicus brief:
The injordinance is technically a law in that it is enacted by a legislative body and is enforceable via criminal sanctions against the public at large with certain legislatively-specified exceptions. However, it also resembles an injunction in that its application is pinpointed to a particular site or sites and its expansive restrictions on speech are initially justified by the alleged unlawful conduct of individuals at these particular sites.
The brief goes on to attack the Court’s embrace of “abortion exceptionalism,” the idea that abortion clinics somehow deserve special treatment in the free speech context:
As long as governments are permitted to single out sidewalks around abortion clinics as special enclaves in which speech can be restricted, this Court can expect to see an endless stream of restrictions testing the limits of the First Amendment as well as making a mockery out of that amendment’s guarantee of governmental neutrality in the marketplace of ideas.
There seems to be a growing dichotomy in this nation where polling shows that the citizens in general are becoming MORE pro-life, anti-abortion, but the Courts are doubling down in an attempt to circumvent this nascent but growing pro-life conviction. They truly want, in their shrill and fearful way, to indeed make abortion killing EXCEPTIONAL and a PROTECTED procedure, no doubt to accomodate, at least on some level, the Catholic Apostates like Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sibelius who both seemingly consider tearing apart an unborn human in the mother’s womb a “sacred” act. As long as it’s safe. And legal. But rare? Hardly. And all because it’s some “mystical” feminist ritual. And they and others like them don’t want their ritual disturbed. Oh Holy Mother of Guadalupe, Mary Most Immaculate, DELIVER us by your prayers from the ungodly. GOD BLESS ALL, Markrite.
Markrite: In my view the dichotomy rests in the minds of the voters. If the pro-life position is gaining strength, why are pro-abortion politicians still favored two-to-one by the voting public? This apparent anomaly is especially grating when one considers the high percentage of Catholic votes that consistently support the democrat party. With the reelection of Obama last year, he will fill any vacancies that are certain to occur on the supreme court. This will lock in Roe v Wade for another generation, irrespective of popular sentiment against this barbaric practice. It is not the people who make the final determination, but nine lawyers in black robes.
I wish the bishops had the courage and conviction of this man.
No need to focus on these things like abortion and homosexuality these days. Says Pope Francis. Lets focus on Salvation through Jesus Christ and all that good stuff.
Mbuku Kanyau Mbithuka, I think all Pope Francis was saying is that we should not bring abortion and homosexuality into every conversation but in context most of the time. I agree with him. When the situation or article is about something totally different and does not apply to such things as abortion and homosexuality, then they are best left out unless there is some connection that needs to be brought up. Otherwise, it it disgusting and boring bringing up “below the belt issues” all the time. Everyone of us needs a break from them at times.
Well, pretty soon, we will not have to talk about abortion any more, based on the most recent pronouncement of Francis (interview 9/19/13). He stated: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods… The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently…. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards.” I find it immensely disconcerting for him to deliver a Bp. Shelby Spong-type message that “the Church must change or die.” In fact, I rarely hear pastors and priests announce Catholic moral belief that are binding on us. More confusion for an already confused Church and world.
Free speech is always what liberals say it is. If you offend one of their protected class (homosexuals, woman, minorities, animals. cross-dressers, etc.) then free speech ends there. They are or never have been interested in what most people would call free-speech.
Free speech is stifled by calling it hate speech. Too bad the founders of the republic did not fine-tune the definition of “Freedom of Speech” to accommodate the political correctness that arose in the era of Orwell. We are being governed by totalitarians. The worst offenders are in academia.
Amen to that GaryO and Anton!
I know Rev. Hoye and he is like a Saint here on earth!!! He is awesome in his humility and for his love for the babies and their mothers.
As for the Holy Father, I haven’t read everything about he was to have ‘suppose to have said’ but dollars to doughnuts, I bet you they reported only a part of what he said, the secular media does it all the time.
I agree with you, Elizabeth, on all of the above. Pope Francis is just saying that we need not inject abortion and homosexuality into every conversation if there is no connection, and we all need a break from such subjects at times, and God bless Rev. Hoye for his devotion to saving the lives of the unborn and their mothers from regrets that surely will come later if they have a conscience at all.
Elizabeth: This is an extract from Vatican News, Sept 20, 2013:
“With reference to complex questions such as homosexuality or the situation of divorced and remarried Catholics, he insists on the need to “always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy”.
The Pope added that “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent” and “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. … We have to find a new balance. … The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow”.
You are free to interpret that as you wish. I find it quite disturbing that Pope Francis refers to our legitimate concerns (homosexuality, abortion, contraception, etc.) as a “disjointed multitude of doctrines” as an obsession.
Anton if I’m understanding you well, I agree with you. Sodomy is a grave sin…AMEN…right we can all agree with this if we are walking in the path of our Lord in obedience. Abortion is the murder of the unborn and heaven only knows what spiritual wars it brings forth every time a child is tortured and murdered in the womb, if we respect human life and honor God then we know that it is something not to be taken lightly. So I share with you Anton in your sentiments I find it disturbing too that what is being presented as to what our holy Pope is saying. I understand your concern as well.
The modern day thinking. To say one is obsessed. One would say the same of our Lord, He came on earth as man (He is GOD, ALPHA AND OMEGA but came as the son in the Holy Trinity), to die and save us from our sins. In human eyes he was obsessed. A good reason to be! Mother Theresa devoted her life taking care of the poor, in human eyes she was obsessed with the poor… but she was doing the will of our Lord. How many saints too, where considered “obsessed” when doing the will of our Lord….
Take a look at St. Peter and St. Paul… they were probably were considered “Obsessed” when it came to today’s views. But we know the truth, we know it isn’t how the human eye views things. The unborn are counting on us to speak for them, they have no voice and something as violent as murder and torture in the womb needs “obsession” in order to even try to reach the gravity of what abortion truly is… even then we can never be enough loud or “Obsessed” we can never reach how serious it is when an abortion is committed. Only the unborn know but they never live to tell or can never speak or express their fears.
Homosexuality too has been causing so much concern and now it has even been desensitized, to the point that it is destroying the real definition of marriage. Today’s “real obsession” is the promotion of homosexual lifestyles as being normal. That is where humanity is going wrong.
The Holy Father’s words did not shock me — they reminded me of Jesus.
He, too, had to deal with people who would choose to focus on ONE item, and they blow it all out of proportion.
Pope Francis is telling us to be whole, to be wholly Catholic, to be holy, and not to limit ourselves to what we’re against!!!
We should also focus on what we’re FOR — helping the poor, working for peace in the world, making sure our planet is livable for our children and our children’s children, speaking up for reconciliation between enemies.
Suzanne: You express the noblest of sentiments. Unfortunately, the real world is an ugly place. BTW, abortion, contraception, homosex marriage are not MINOR issues. The poor you shall always have with you. The lion may some day lie down with the lamb, but not quite yet.
I agree with Anton, Suzanne. I am heavily concerned because from what I have studied, even from the early church doctors and saints, they have never desensitized the seriousness of grave sins. I am noticing that because in today’s modern times, sin is heavily desensitized, that people are choosing to listen to what they want to hear, not really hear. Its called selective hearing, they select what is in their hearts and it maybe just how they understand it, in their disordered nature due to all of us being sinful because of the comforts of modern times but if the truth was to hit them, many be like the people who left because they didn’t like it when Jesus said to them that they must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, they didn’t understand what he meant and walked away. (John 6:53-57, John 6:66).
I try to give to the poor through pro life organizations and businesses. Pro life clinics give food, clothing, housing and shelter, and other pro life businesses in many cases provide good jobs that definitely will not be in the porn industry. It is a good idea to change over to such companies as Sienna telephone services because they do not give to porno industries or causes of any kind. Sometimes we cannot change because someone else in the family is handling that bill and will not be convinced, but we certainly can try.
I agree completely with you, Steve Phoenix. When I read the Popes’s words about our over emphasis on abortion, homosexuality, etc., my first thought was where does he get this? Certainly this has not been the case in any parish I have attended. Reading another story in my paper this morning covering Francis’s words I was struck and surprised to find myself very grateful that Cardinal Dolan has been again quoted immediately following the quotes by the Pope. Perhaps our new Pope is a good man who is too naive about how the world is thrilled to twist his words to it’s own hedonistic ends.
Joanie then we must pray. There are many wicked Catholics in our church. I have to admit that. How can they still receive our Lord and yet go on with their wicked mentality. Our Pope seems very innocent and child like with his goodness and we appreciate that humility in him, the wolves are hungry in their fleshly desires to change the church, so they watch our Pope’s every move.
Pray and fast. that is very important, stay alert and awake so the evil one won’t creep in so easily.
Rev. Hoye keep up the great work…you are to be commended!