Catholic Citizens’ president Larry Cirignano got no judicial love this weekend.
Judge David Ricciardone tossed Cirignano’s plea to toss a civil rights violation and misdemeanor assault and battery charges filed by Sarah Loy, a gay marriage activist Cirignano allegedly shoved during a December VoteOnMarriage event.
Cirignano had helped organize the event and came to the aid of his anti-gay allies after Loy entered the arena with a sign supporting gay nuptials. Enraged by Loy’s appearance, witnesses say Cirignano jumped to the ground and tackled Loy, saying, “You need to get out. You need to get out of here right now.”
Defending his position, Cirignano and his lawyers cited a 1995 Supreme Court case ruling that St. Patrick’s Day organizers had a constitutional right to ban the gays. Judge Ricciardone, however, wasn’t having it. He wrote in his decision:
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.
Don’t you just love when the constitution bites back?
Cirignano and his lawyers will be back in court for a August 20th hearing, when a trial date will be set. We’re all set for that shit.