The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday sided with a provocative street preacher who sued Portland for violating his free speech rights.
Edward Gathright, who acknowledged that he upset women when he called them "Jezebels" and "daughters of Babylon," claimed that his rights were violated when he was tossed out of events at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and Pioneer Courthouse Square.
A 9th Circuit panel agreed, saying the city gave groups that held events at city parks too much discretion to eject people, upholding a 2004 lower court ruling.
"Gathright may be a gadfly to those with views contrary to his own," the court wrote. "But First Amendment jurisprudence is clear that the way to oppose offensive speech is by more speech, not censorship, enforced silence or eviction from legitimately occupied public space." ...