Man who sued politicians for flying Pride flags loses case
A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit aimed at stopping lawmakers from displaying Pride flags outside their offices.
Chris Sevier, the anti-LGBT activist who has tried – and failed – to marry his laptop five times, sued four Democratic members of Congress last year because, he said, homosexuality was a religion.
According to Sevier, this meant that by showing the Pride flag, Susan Davis and Alan Lowenthal of California, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Don Beyer of Virginia were violating the Establishment Clause, a constitutional prohibition on the government declaring a religion.
Court documents note the claimant told the court that “‘the [h]omosexual church’ is ‘the largest denomination’ of ‘the overall church of ‘western expressive individualism postmodern moral relativism,’ which posits that ‘nobody’s version of morality as a basis of law matters except for the private moral code that [the adherent] personally advocat[es].'”
The documents add: “So, according to Sevier, unless Defendants ‘install a flag that represents people who self-identify as polygamists, machinists, zoophiles, and heterosexuals,’ their actions ‘treat… the homosexual denomination of… the church of moral relativism with disproportionate favor'”.
Judge Randolph D. Moss of the US District Court for Washington DC was not convinced, safe to say.
“If the mere acceptance of homosexuality — or support for gay rights—constitutes a ‘religion’ for Establishment Clause purposes, then the same conclusion would presumably follow for any value judgment about how people should or should not live their lives,” wrote the judge.
“The Establishment Clause’s meaning is not so capacious.”
In a thorough dismissal of Sevier’s case, Judge Moss continued: “The gay rights movement bears no trappings of ‘religion’ as that concept is widely understood, and Sevier has not plausibly alleged that a reasonable person would perceive the display of the rainbow flags as religious in nature.
“Common sense… forecloses Sevier’s claim,” he added.
The judge noted that had Sevier had offered “no legal support” for his positions.
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“Instead, he has presented the Court with thousands of pages of news clippings and affidavits from his supporters expressing their opposition to homosexuality, and more recently, with filings from other litigation in which he alleges similar injuries,” he noted.
In a statement, one of the defendants, Lowenthal, said: “I will continue to proudly fly the Pride Flag outside my office as a symbol of love, peace, equality, and humanity to every visitor to Capitol Hill.
“I will never give in to intolerance, even when cloaked in the guise of legality.”