I guess I don't see how this can be anything other than a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution -- and of the relevant sections of the New York Constitution as well.
A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a Staten Island clergyman who claimed his civil rights were violated when two billboards he ordered denouncing homosexuality were ordered covered up.
It was the second time that the Rev. Kristopher Okwedy has had his case dismissed. After Judge Nina Gershon originally threw out the case in 2003, Okwedy went to a state Appeals Court which ordered the case revisited.
This week Gershon again dismissed the case.
Okwedy was attempting to sue former Borough President Guy V. Molinari and PNE Media of violating his First Amendment rights when Molinair ordered the removal of two billboards.
Okwedy had paid PNE $2,500 for two signs that quoted biblical passages condemning homosexuality.
Molinari said at the time that the billboards violated the city's human rights ordinance protecting gays from discrimination and that he feared the billboards would inspire anti-gay violence. PNE complied.
Judge Gershon ruled that Okwedy had failed to prove that the human rights law was unconstitutional as applied to him because it collided with his religious and free speech rights.
A government official, acting under color of law, ordered that the religiously based speech of an American citizen be suppressed on the basis of a local ordinance and vague, unsubstantiated fears of possible violence?
Have freedom of speech and freedom of religion been eviscerated in this country because of the hyper-sensitivity and political clout of the sodomy lobby?
And if so-called "human rights ordinances" require the suppression of those freedoms, is it not entirely appropriate to refer to such measures as conferring "special rights" upon homosexuals while conferring second class citizenship upon those who fail to accept the "gay is OK" mantra of the Left?
Oh, and for those who have always said that such measures are no threat to freedom of religion, and that quoting Scripture could never be deemed to be a violation of any law in this country, think again. This is the billboard in question.
The suppressed material was almost exclusively a quote from the Book of Leviticus -- sacred to both Christians and Jews. Have religious believers really been stripped of their civil liberties in America?
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