Jenna was rewarded for her embarrassment by a meet and greet with President Obama when he breezed through Orlando for an August 30 fundraiser.
YouTube won’t remove a video that has contributed to riots and murders of U.S. officials and troops throughout the Middle East, but it quickly removed the video of this pro-life protest. Outing people who kill babies is more dangerous to the world than dissing Muhammad. Nevertheless, the video is available now at Pro-LifeTube.com.
After getting the damaging video removed from YouTube, Tosh complained to the Winter Park City Commission, which quickly enacted an “emergency public safety ordinance” that banned public protests within 50 feet of a private residence. On September 10 the Commission voted 4-1 to make the ordinance permanent. A second vote on September 24 will ratify the ordinance.
Voting against the ordinance was Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley, who rightly understood it to be an assault against free speech.
Also now opposing the ordinance is the Orlando Sentinel, which posted an astute editorial on September 16:
We might have been inclined give city officials a hearty attaboy for being so responsive to a resident – had commissioners not managed in the process to abridge everyone else’s free-speech rights.
Winter Park modeled its measure after ordinances that passed constitutional muster, so we aren’t arguing legal merits.
But we do question the knee-jerk response to a single citizen’s complaint – precipitated by the distribution of pro-life handouts and, nearly a week later, some nonviolent picketing. And we question the need for a new law when laws exist to protect citizens against protests that grow unruly.
And we question why government officials are so quick to crack down on freedom of speech. Imagine the outcry if commissioners had tried to go after the Second Amendment.
Having to push past protesters toting signs that read “Jenna Tosh kills babies and hurts women” certainly is unpleasant. We sympathize with her.
However, her need to avoid disturbing, anti-abortion expressions outside her home shouldn’t trump the rights of the many to exercise their First Amendment rights within public areas in residential areas.
That’s something Bradley wisely understood: “I just can’t vote to stop free speech,” he said.
On Sept. 24, the ordinance is up for a final vote. This time, commissioners should follow their mayor’s lead.
City Attorney Larry Brown, pictured right, thinks the ordinance will withstand constitutional muster. He cited a similar ordinance that had – but another that had not. I spoke with pro-life activist Jay Rogers last night, who told me he has already been contacted by three separate legal groups that specialize in upholding pro-life free speech. If Winter Park officials insist on ratifying the ordinance, a court challenge is promised. Brown’s reputation will then be on the line, although any public humiliation he suffers will surely be offset by the fattened paycheck he gets from the city for the extra hours he has to spend on this.
Some unintended consequences, quoting the Winter Park/Maidland Observer:
UCF’s Brett, a constitutional law specialist, said that depends on the ordinance covering all of its bases, which cities frequently fail to do.
He said that the ordinance might be challenged based on infringing on free speech rights at businesses, churches, public parks, etc., that are within the no-protest zone in neighborhoods.
“What happens if you have a Baptist church that’s sponsoring an operation rescue rally, and that happens to be in a residential neighborhood?” Brett said. “Not only do you have conflicts of free speech, but also conflicts of free exercise of religion.”
Does the Commission really want to waste taxpayer money on legal fees and continue to draw controversy? If so, it doesn’t understand pro-life activists, who the press is siding with.
Orlando pro-lifers don’t actually mind this skirmish, Rogers told me. Abortion proponents and the media frequently attempt to ignore their protests. Now, thanks to Tosh’s (exaggerated) complaints, they’re not. All the attention only spotlights the atrocity of abortion as well as the scandal brought to bear against those committing it.
At 28 years old, Tosh is an unseasoned abortion industry hack. Veterans would have told her to ignore the protest and let the controversy die down.
Tosh has only inspired more of the same in more creative ways. I’ve been told the plans.
Winter Park, welcome to the fact that abortion brings chaos to society. No justice, no peace.
[Photo of Brown via Seminole Voice]