Moms for Liberty of Yolo County (Yolo M4L) filed a lawsuit alleging that a local library and librarians worked to disrupt and shut down presentations explaining the damage from transgender ideology – violating the free speech of several individuals and groups.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Institute for Free Speech (IFS) filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Yolo County includes the cities of Davis, West Sacramento and Woodland, in Northern California.
Both ADF and IFS work to protect Constitutional freedoms.
Sophia Lorey works as outreach director for California Family Council (CFC), a Focus on the Family ally working to advance “God’s design for life, family and liberty” in the Golden State. Both she and CFC are also plaintiffs in the suit.
Lorey’s talk was ended by Library Regional Manager Scott Love because she “misgendered” male athletes who identify as females.
She told the Daily Citizen:
I was invited to talk about my personal story as a college athlete. I explained that men are playing in women’s sports. A library official said that I could not refer to men as men. He told me to change my language, or the event would be shut down. A few minutes later, he shut down the event, preventing me and the other speakers from communicating our message.
Everyone has the right to express their opinion, even those in the audience who disagreed with me.
The lawsuit explains:
On Aug. 20, the Yolo County chapter of Moms for Liberty hosted an event called “Forum for Fair and Safe Sport for Girls” in the Blanchard Community Room at the Mary L. Stephens–Davis Branch Library in Yolo County. The event featured several speakers, including Sophia Lorey, the outreach director for California Family Council and a former collegiate athlete.
Event organizers and speakers believe that males who compete in girls and women’s sports steal opportunities, victories, scholarships and awards from girls and women. They know that allowing “transgender females” in sports can be physically dangerous to female athletes, and the practice robs girls and women of privacy and safety in showers, locker rooms and restrooms.
According to the suit, Love told Lorey and other speakers before the event that the Library Code of Behavior and California law prohibited ‘misgendering,’ and that “transgender” is a protected class in the state.
Love said that “transgender females” – those born male but “identifying” as women – must be referred to as “female,” and “transgender males” – those born female but identifying as men – must be referred to as “male.” He added that participants must show “respect” for others.
In her talk, Lorey “discussed her dream to be a college soccer player and her success in achieving that dream.” Then she said:
Current 10-year-old girls cannot live out [the] same dream as long as men are allowed to compete in women’s sports. …
No matter how hard biological girls work, they will … never be able to be physiologically faster and stronger than biological men that are trying to play in biological female sports. Allowing biological men in women’s sports does not create an equal playing field, but instead robs young girls of their athletic aspirations.”
At this point, the suit states, “Protestors began to interrupt Lorey, shouting her down and accusing her of ‘misgendering.’” Love told Lorey “to leave the Blanchard Room because she was ‘misgendering,’ and declared that he would ‘shut the entire program down’ if she did not leave.”
The lawsuit continues:
As a result, Lorey stopped her speech, and three minutes into the next speech, the regional manager told everyone to leave and turned off the projector to prevent the event from continuing. Organizers and attendees of the forum eventually left, unable to continue the planned event.
CFC posted a video of the event, which now has over 2 million views, on the social media platform X.
California Public Library Silences Female Athlete pic.twitter.com/dHYaxBFlr1
— CA Family Council (@CAFamily) August 21, 2023
Other plaintiffs include the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (“ICONS”) and its co-founder Kim Jones, and Our Duty and its regional lead, Clare Erin Friday. ICONS works to protect the integrity of female athletics, and Our Duty is “an international support network for parents who wish to protect their children from gender ideology.”
They were also involved in the August event, which was one in a series of forums, lectures and films at the library about the danger of transgender ideology. At every turn, librarians and transgender activists worked to squelch their free speech.
For example, Yolo M4L hosted a film in March, Affirmation Generation, which exposes the dangers of transgender drugs, hormones and surgeries.
Protestors continually interrupted the event, but the library did nothing. So much for showing “respect.”
Similarly, a May event on “Book Curation for Child Safeguarding,” about protecting children from sexualized, confusing, age-inappropriate books in schools and libraries, was also disrupted by protestors.
Again, the library did nothing to protect the free speech of the participants.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Director of the Center for Academic Freedom Tyson Langhofer explained why cases like this are important, as LGBT activists and their allies use government agencies to threaten free speech. He told the Daily Citizen:
Sophia simply shared that men are playing in women’s sports, making it harder for girls to achieve their dreams. Yet, she was interrupted and forbidden from continuing to share her personal experience as a collegiate soccer.
Government officials cannot shut down speech just because they disagree with the message.
The case is Moms for Liberty-Yolo County v. Lopez.
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Image from ADF.