It's about time hate-spewing Christian priests got their bigoted remarks "corrected." Let's hope that this correction serves as a warning to the other homophobic religious bigots that their intolerance just isn't going to be tolerated.

1. REUTERS U.S. Court Allows Firing for Anti-Gay Remarks

Reuters, December 1, 1997

U.S. Court Allows Firing for Anti-Gay Remarks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court let stand Monday a ruling that San Francisco's firing of a human rights commissioner for anti-gay remarks does not violate his constitutional free speech rights.

The justices rejected an appeal by the Rev. Eugene Lumpkin, the pastor of a Baptist church who was removed from the city's Human Rights Commission in 1993 after he advocated violence against homosexuals.

While serving as commissioner, Lumpkin during news media interviews condemned homosexuality as a sin and quoted passages in the Bible prescribing death for practicing homosexuals.

"It's sad that people have AIDS and what have you, but it says right here in the scripture that the homosexual lifestyle is an abomination against God," Lumpkin was quoted as saying in a June 26, 1993 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

After his firing, Lumpkin sued, alleging that his rights had been violated and seeking to be reinstated and to get compensatory damages.

In his Supreme Court appeal, Lumpkin argued that government employees may not be fired solely for public statements about their personal religious beliefs because, he said, "The right to religious belief and profession is absolute."

The high court denied his appeal without any comment or dissent.

The justices left intact a U.S. appeals court ruling that Lumpkin has a right to state his views, but that the First Amendment does not "assure him job security when he preached homophobia while serving as a city official."

The appeals court said the First Amendment does not require the city to tolerate members of the human rights commission who make statements contrary to the panel's goal of eliminating prejudice and discrimination.

"Lumpkin's First Amendment rights may be trumped by important interests of the city he agreed to serve," the appeals court concluded in upholding a federal judge's ruling for the city.

San Francisco urged the Supreme Court to deny Lumpkin's appeal, saying there was no need to review "legal conclusions that are so obviously correct."


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