Shortly after the passage of Proposition 8, Los Angeles City College student Jonathan Lopez was stopped by his public speaking professor as he attempted to deliver a speech against marriage equality. Lopez alleged that the professor called him a “fascist bastard” and told him to “ask God what your grade is.” He then won the right to sue the college for violating his First Amendment rights. On Friday the Ninth Circuit Court overturned that decision.
Lopez, a self-described Christian, claimed a professor stopped him mid-speech, deeming his words sexual harassment under the Los Angeles Community College District’s code of conduct. He sued the district in February 2009 in Los Angeles federal court, claiming the code was so broad that it limited his right to free speech. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Sandra S. Ikuta wrote in the opinion handed down today that Lopez, “failed to make a clear showing that his intended speech on religious topics gave rise to a specific and credible threat of adverse action from college officials under the college’s sexual harassment policy.”
Lopez’ lawsuit has been closely followed by Christianist websites who claim that his case is yet another example of Christian speech being stifled at the nation’s universities. He was represented by the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund.