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Appeals Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Congressman’s Displaying of Gay Pride Flag

A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit brought against Rep. Susan Davis for hanging a rainbow gay pride flag outside her Washington office.

Chris Sevier, a anti-LGBT activist and lobbyist who has filed numerous lawsuits, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington in July 2017 against Davis and Reps. Alan Lowenthal, Donald Beyer and Earl Blumenauer.

In his suit, Sevier described homosexuality as a “sect/denomination of the ‘sex-based self-asserted’ religion of ‘western postmodern expressive individualism moral relativism’m so therefore the rainbow flag should not be put on display.  “Sevier also said he believes GLBT advocates have sought to persecute and indoctrinate others who do not share their views”

 The original suit was dismissed in March by Judge Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia: “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,” Moss wrote in an opinion filed Monday. “The Establishment Clause’s meaning is not so capacious.”

Moss further wrote, “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.” He added, “Common sense … forecloses Sevier’s claim.”

Sevier appealed. However, the appeals court dismissed the suit again when Sevier failed to follow through on his appeal.

Sevier also in the past lost a lawsuit in which he sought the right to marry his laptop computer, clearly a stunt aimed at undermining marriage equality and recently has pushed anti-pornography bills in various states. A bill he persuaded Rhode Island legislators to introduce would block all online pornography unless a user paid a $20 fee. The bill is nicknamed the “Elizabeth Smart law,” after the Utah kidnapping victim who was forced to watch porn during her captivity. Smart has sent a cease-and-desist letter demanding that her name not be used in connection with the legislation.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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