BCN contributor Ryan Bomberger, a biracial man conceived in rape, is an outspoken opponent of abortion and proponent of adoption. Ryan’s biological mother protected him in the womb and gave him to a loving family.
Known for his pro-life billboard campaign, Ryan calls out the NAACP for being pro-abortion and apathetic about the high abortion rate among black women. He parodied the organization, called it the “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People,” and created a logo.
The NAACP sent a cease-and-desist letter, citing trademark infringement. The organization eventually filed a lawsuit against Ryan and his Radiance Foundation, claiming copyright infringement and alleging that his parody of their logo might confuse people. After much legal wrangling, the court sided with him.
The 4th Circuit contended that to “find Lanham Act [protects against consumer confusion] violations under these facts risks a different form of infringement — that of Radiance’s expressive right to comment on social issues under the First Amendment. Courts have taken care to avoid Lanham Act interpretations that gratuitously court grave constitutional concerns, and we shall do so here. We hold that Radiance is not liable for trademark infringement or dilution of defendant’s marks by tarnishment. We vacate the injunction against Radiance entered by the district court and remand with instructions that defendant’s counterclaims likewise be dismissed.”
Ryan was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, a firm that seeks to protect the constitutional rights of people of faith and faith-based organizations.
“I find it embarrassing that a civil rights organization like the NAACP would actually go so far to deny that something is protected speech,” Ryan said recently in a Bound4Life interview. “They have spent nearly a million dollars at this point; they are not going to give up. They will keep on pursuing this line of censorship – that’s what it really is.”
In an interview four years ago, Ryan told me he tried to find his biological mother to thank her for protecting him. He also talked about his adoptive family’s love.