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LGBT-Sympathizing University Philosophers Stand Up for Free Speech

Feminist Laura Tanner, a graduate student at the University of California-Santa Barbara, is under investigation for being outspoken against “transgender” ideology. Now a dozen LGBT-sympathizing philosophers in academia are coming to her rescue.

This group of philosophers from Europe, Canada, America, and Australia say that academic debate is essential and that any measures that censor a colleague’s skepticism toward gender identity “violate the fundamental academic commitment to free inquiry.” They go on to say, “Moreover, the consequent narrowing of discussion would set a dangerous precedent, threatening the ability of philosophers to engage with the issues of the day. . . none of the arguments recently made by our colleagues can reasonably be regarded as incitement or hate speech. . . Academic freedom, like freedom of thought more broadly, should be restricted only with the greatest caution, if ever.”

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California Judge Supports Free Speech of Pregnancy Care Centers

Victory for pro-lifers! Pregnancy resource centers in California do not have to post signage and inform clients about the state’s taxpayer-funded abortions and birth control through its Medi-Cal program, thanks to an injunction from Riverside County Superior Court Justice Gloria C. Trask.

Noting free speech concerns, Judge Trask wrote, “This statute compels the clinic to speak words with which it profoundly disagrees when the State has numerous alternative methods of publishing its message.”

It is expected that California’s Attorney General Xavier Beccera will challenge Trask’s ruling. Similar signage laws have been struck down in New York City, Baltimore, and Austin.

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Protesters Against ‘Black Genocide’ Win Free Speech Case

Two black leaders who were forced to leave the premises after holding a peaceful demonstration on the sidewalk of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture won their free-speech case. Rev. Clenard H. Childress Jr., pastor of a church in Newark, N.J, and Jacqueline Hawkins, director of minority outreach for the nonprofit Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, were there in February decrying what they rightfully termed the “genocide” of black children through abortion. After being told to leave by uniformed police and a museum official or face arrest or forcible removal, the black leaders filed suit claiming violations of their First and Fifth Amendment rights as well as the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In the settlement agreement, the federal government acknowledged that the public sidewalk is “available for First Amendment activity” and paid the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees.

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Political Figures, Social Media, and Free Speech

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing several conservative public servants, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, and now Maine Gov. Paul LePage for blocking individuals from their official social media accounts. The ACLU argues that official social media accounts constitute a “public forum” where constituents should be able to voice their opinions. But is it wrong to weed out abusive comments? Rob Anderson, chairman of Utah’s Republican Party, doesn’t think so. “You own your Facebook page and if you want to block somebody or hide somebody, that’s up to you,” he says. “Why else is there a tab that says hide or block?” With more and more politicians, particularly candidates up for election or reelection, going online to talk about the issues in the next several months, this will clearly be a matter of contention.

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KY Adopts ‘Charlie Brown Law’ to Protect Speech

This month Kentucky’s Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law a bill known as the “Charlie Brown law” that protects religious and political expression in public schools and on college campuses. The law is named after a Kentucky elementary school’s decision to remove a Bible verse from their production of A Charlie Brown Christmas. This law eliminates restrictive and unconstitutional “free speech” zones on school campuses. Eight other states, including Tennessee, have passed similar legislation.

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