A group of concerned mothers, parents’ rights advocates, and advocates for women have filed a lawsuit against the Yolo County Library in California for shutting down a Moms for Liberty event because speakers used the phrase “men in women’s sports.”
Moms for Liberty held an event in the library in support of protecting women’s sports. According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents the plaintiffs, protesters interrupted the first speaker, Sophia Lorey, outreach director for California Family Council and a former athlete, accusing her of “misgendering.”
The Institute for Free Speech also represents the group.
The library’s regional manager invited the protestors outside to come inside, knowing they would be disruptive. She agreed with the protesters and threatened to leave and shut down the event. From ADF:
As a result, Lorey stopped her speech, and three minutes into the next speech, the regional manager told everyone to leave and turned off the projector to prevent the event from continuing. Organizers and attendees of the forum eventually left, unable to continue the planned event.
The regional manager said that using male pronouns for men violated the library’s policy and state law. Government employees retaliated against a group with views the government employees oppose. Unpopular speech is what the First Amendment protects.
You’d think librarians would protect speech — “people entrusted with disseminating a broad range of perspectives and voices,” as the complaint (PDF) reads. But “librarians Defendants Scott Love and Diana Lopez believe that their job is to enforce conformity with the government’s official views. They not only allow their ideological allies to disrupt speakers whose views they reject, they actively censor speech with which they disagree.”
The complaint alleges that the harassment has been ongoing. Employees have made it difficult for Moms for Liberty to reserve space.
The Yolo County Library discriminated against the group based on content and viewpoint — a clear violation of the First Amendment.
“Shutting down a presentation over disagreements is unconstitutional and, sadly, a growing trend among activists pushing ideologies that erase women and harm children,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. “Fortunately, the First Amendment stands as a bulwark against such censorship. Women have the right to speak out about their concerns regarding men participating in their sports.”
Yolo County employees don’t have to like anything these women have to say to allow them to express themselves in a public forum.
Do you agree with protecting fairness in women’s sports? Sign up for more!