As discussed before, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that anti-gay activists do not have a constitutional right to go into the classroom with anti-gay religious messages on their clothes. The Court found that gay students have the right to be left alone and not be required to attend class in an environment that is hostile and condemning.
Of course anti-gay activists care nothing about the gay students and feel that it is the anti-gay activists that are being persecuted. They feel that if gay students can seek tolerance from other students in school, then anti-gay students should be able to engage in public condemnation.
After the three member panel of the Ninth Circuit determined in April that not all speech in a mandatory environment is equal (in other words “be tolerant of everyone” is not equivalent to “I refuse to tolerate you”), the ADF appealed to the full court. Yesterday the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied en banc review (the decision relates to the inforcement of the school’s policies until the First Amendment case can be heard).
Judge Ronald Gould, in a one-sentence opinion explaining his opposition to en banc review, wrote:
“Hate speech, whether in the form of a burning cross, or in the form of a call for genocide, or in the form of a tee shirt misusing biblical text to hold gay students to scorn, need not under Supreme Court decisions be given the full protection of the First Amendment in the context of the school environment, where administrators have a duty to protect students from physical or psychological harms.”
The has been no clarification from the ADF as to whether they support students burning crosses or calling for genocide in the school setting.