Dispatches from the Creation Wars

ACLU Defends Walmart Protestor

Pay attention now, STACLU. The ACLU of Louisiana is defending a Christian man’s right to protest outside a Walmart over their pro-gay policies.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of a man who was chased away from the front of a Wal-Mart store when he tried to protest what he believes is the company’s stand on gays.

A Natchitoches police officer told Edwin Crayton to leave on or about Oct. 4 after he stood in front of Wal-Mart with a protest sign that read, ‘Christians: Wal-Mart Supports Gay Lifestyles And Marriage. Don’t Shop There,’ according to a news release from the ACLU.

Crayton was told he could not return until he obtained permits from the police and the mayor, said Joe Cook, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana.

The ACLU obviously hates gay people and is out to destroy them because of the pro-Christian views of their organization.

Comments

  1. #1 kehrsam
    November 4, 2006

    Ed,

    Your link goes to a great article by Charles Haynes, but not anything about WalMart.

    I can already see the STACLU response to this (assuming they don’t pretend not to notice): The ACLU is only getting involved because this guy is a lunatic that makes all Christians look bad. After all, isn’t that pretty much their standard view on Westwood Baptist Church (when it must be mentioned)?

  2. #2 mark
    November 4, 2006

    I asked an ACLU-hater I know how he explains situations like this, and he didn’t hesitate to respond Oh, they sometimes do things like that in order to hide their true agenda.

    Hate trumps rationality.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    November 4, 2006

    Oops, fixed the link.

  4. #4 dogmeatIB
    November 4, 2006

    I have to say, while I completely disagree with his stance, the suit has some valid arguments. The ordinance does give two people excessive power when it comes to permits. If they were Klan members the NAACP would likely never get a permit, if they were anti-Klan the KKK would likely never get a permit, etc. I agree that the city needs to have an alternate way to obtain the permit, it basically comes down to the mayor’s yea or nay. I disagree with the argument that the $10 filing fee constitutes a “tax” on 1st amendment rights. All organizations, regardless of affiliation pay the exact same fee which seems reasonable for the time and effort to review the application, approve it, etc.

  5. #5 Fastlane
    November 4, 2006

    Depending on the details, doesn’t the store have the right to ask sombody to leave their property?

    I know people who protest at churches, and they always stand on the public easement. (Every city considers a certain narrow band next to a paved street to be public property, even if no physical sidewalk is present.)

    I think Walmart has every right to ask this guy to stay off of their property on on the public right of way, but he should not need a permit of any kind to do that. (But I’m not a lawyer.)

    Cheers.

  6. #6 pablo
    November 4, 2006

    I would imagine that if a thorough list of the ACLU’s case histories was compiled, and good many causes that everyone could support would be among them. Why doesn’t someone do this?

  7. #7 Turcano
    November 4, 2006

    I know that just about everybody who reads this blog already knows this, but one of the main reasons that the ACLU has PR problems is because of their zero-tolerance policy regarding violations (real or perceived) of the First Amendment; this, combined with the logical conclusion that they represent people that no one else will, means that they end up championing a lot of unpopular causes (National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie, anyone?).

    But the real reason behind the virulent hatred from people like STACLU is the fact that fundamentalists don’t like the First Amendment and never have. Fundies don’t want equality of religion; they want a monopoly on religion in the public space and the ability to persecute dissenters in that space. That’s why any action that negates the preferential treatment of their religion, no matter how trivially, is perceived as religious persecution.

    Again, this probably isn’t anything you didn’t already know, but there it is.

  8. #8 scott
    November 4, 2006

    Depending on the details, doesn’t the store have the right to ask sombody to leave their property?

    According to the PDF he was standing on the public sidewalk in front of the store. It’s pretty much open and shut from the sounds of it. Hopefully it doesn’t get dragged out and the city just accepts the fact that they screwed up.

  9. #9 Bill Jarrell
    November 4, 2006

    “I asked an ACLU-hater I know how he explains situations like this, and he didn’t hesitate to respond Oh, they sometimes do things like that in order to hide their true agenda.

    Hate trumps rationality.”

    It’s the catch-22 of debating conspiracy theories. Anything that contradicts the conspiracy is only part of the conspiracy.

  10. #10 noself
    November 4, 2006

    Hmmm, let’s see:
    1. Public forum: Probably
    2. Prior restraint (and probably not a time, place, manner regulation): going to boil down to whether there is too much discretion given to the permit giving officials.

  11. #11 Russell
    November 4, 2006

    This barely qualifies as news. This is just what the ACLU does and has done for decades. In an odd way, the opponents to the ACLU might be highlighting the important role it has played in defending the 1st amendment, by making this activity newsworthy again.

  12. #12 raindogzilla
    November 4, 2006

    Hmm, Ed Crayton/Ed Brayton…Ed, you stay away from Wal-Mart, you hear?

  13. #13 Tulle
    November 4, 2006

    One man, on public property, with single sign…nope he needs no permit. Permits are for large gatherings not one person. This is still America, right?

    Well, maybe not

  14. #14 Fastlane
    November 6, 2006

    Pablo said: I would imagine that if a thorough list of the ACLU’s case histories was compiled, and good many causes that everyone could support would be among them. Why doesn’t someone do this?
    __________________________________

    I did exactly that, (over a year ago now) at
    http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?p=3066281#post3066281
    (post 9 in that thread.)
    You can go look yourself through the ACLU archives. It’s not hard at all to find the cases that these anti-ACLU goons think are ‘part of the conspiracy’. If it’s a conspiracy, roughly 30-40% of thier cases are an awful lot to just maintain the facade. =P

    Cheers.