Sunday, July 15, 2007

No Free Pass, Yet, For Cirignano

Self-righteousness is surely the least palatable of human characteristics, yours or mine. Yet, a close second is failure to accept responsibility for our own actions.

Please forgive schadenfreude, as I revel in another hateful winger not getting a pass on his dastardly deeds. Larry Cirignano may eventually pay a nominal penalty for his disdain of American freedom, for his belief that he is above the ladder of law that should have no top and no bottom, for his negative fixation of things gay and equal.

Friday in a Worcester District Court, Judge David Riccciardone said in effect, "Y'all come see me on August 20th to set a trial date." He rejected the defense attorney's motion to give greasy Larry a free ride on civil rights violations for (ahem, allegedly) pushing a young woman, Sarah Loy, in the back and forcing her to the pavement for daring, daring to protest his and his chums' anti-same-sex-marriage diatribes.

The various witnesses have yet to testify, but the reports support that she held up a sign favoring marriage equality at an anti-equality rally in Worcester. Then Cirignano apparently crossed a large open area behind her and shoved her to the ground. Those little matters like free speech matter little to the self-righteous.

Larry's lawyer moved to dismiss this most serious of the charges, and not the assault and battery. He claimed that she had no right to free speech there and then, citing the odious St. Patrick's Day parade U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing banning of gay marchers in South Boston at a private parade.

The judge rather preferred the commonwealth and U.S. constitutions over bullies and thugs. Good on him.

As Bay Windows cited the judge's ruling, "In holding her sign at the rally here, the complainant was simply expressing a view contrary to that being generally supported. This is speech which is clearly and unassailably protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and by the Massachusetts Bill of Rights. To conclude otherwise would allow the group that arrives at the city licensing office first to censor the free expression of speech in a particular area of the city at any given time. This is an unsupportable proposition under constitutional law.”

The vanilla coverage was in the Boston Globe, which did not connect with Cirignano, but did get the predictable from Loy:
"I'm very glad that the city of Worcester and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are taking civil rights seriously," she said in a phone interview. "It's good news, because my civil rights were violated."
I'm with her. It's time the wingers had to face the music here and there.

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