Judge Denies Minuteman Parade Petition

Laguna Beach attorney cited a ruling from 1995 which denied Gays to march in the Boston St. Patrick’s day parade.


(Santa Ana, CA) Judge Michael Brenner of the Orange County Superior Court denied the issuance of a temporary restraining order allowing the Minuteman Project to participate in Laguna Beach’s Patriots’ Day Parade. The judge essentially ruled that, regardless of California’s broad civil rights laws, a private organization could openly discriminate against those that it did not agree with.

According to lead attorney for the Minuteman Project, Richard D. Ackerman, “I’ve never been so happy to lose. As a conservative attorney, it was a sheer joy and hysterical to watch Laguna Beach’s city attorney argue that a case allowing open discrimination against gays was the controlling case in this matter. The hypocrisy of the Parade Association and the City was staggering. I’ve never seen someone argue so strongly for intolerance, exclusion, and fear-based discrimination. The good news is that whether we win or lose on appeal, the laws preventing discrimination against ‘undesirables’ will be applied equally to all groups, or it will be fully affirmed that all of the California Legislature’s anti-discrimination laws do not apply to churches, parades, Boy Scout organizations, and others affected by state-control over associational and expressive rights. We have a number of clients that would be happy to see either result.”

The case will likely be appealed and will be set on a course for trial regardless of whether the Minuteman Project will be able to march in the parade this year. Ackerman says, “I intend on sending a letter to the City and the Parade Association inquiring as to whether they really want to instill law that says its acceptable to discriminate against gays and others. They may get what they want at the appellate level simply by shooting themselves in the foot. I welcome them to do so.”

SANTA ANA ? A judge today denied a request to include the Minuteman Project in the upcoming Laguna Beach Patriot?s Day Parade.

The group ? founded by Jim Gilchrist and known for organizing civilian border patrols ? sued Laguna Beach Patriot?s Day Association and the city of Laguna Beach last month after it was refused entry into the 40th annual parade on March 4.

Today, a judge found the association was well within its rights to decide which groups to include or exclude.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Michael Brenner denied a request for an immediate order to place the group into the parade. He also denied the group?s request for a hearing for a preliminary injuction.

“Clearly, if the Minutemen were applying for their own parade permit, that would be different … this is a Laguna Beach parade, part of their right of freedom of expression,” said Brenner.

“A parade is a speech really, an expression,” the judge later said. “They have a right … to put on any parade they want to go on.”

Outside the courtroom, Richard Ackerman, attorney for the Minuteman Project, said the group most likely will appeal the case.

“If you believe in discrimination, this is a great day for discrimination and bigotry,” he said. “This parade is openly discriminating. It?s ironic that Laguna Beach promotes openness, diversity, same-sex rights and everything except my client.”

Charles Quilter II, a parade committee member, said he was concerned Minuteman members would join the parade despite the court?s ruling. There are about 100 entries in the approximate 1.4-mile parade.

He said the association rejected the Minuteman application because it is a political group, and potentially “upsetting to families.”

“The purpose of the parade is to foster community. We have no religious or political agenda,” he said.

“Personally, I find it offensive,” added the association?s attorney, Eugene Gratz. “This lawsuit is entirely without merit and had no other purpose (but) to get publicity for their offensive organization.”

Upsetting to families? Offensive organization? Give me a break. And why do these people think it’s some kind of publicity stunt, we seriously wanted to be in this parade. This parade was even called the “Patriot’s Day Parade.” It was the perfect parade for us. There will be others, that’s for sure!

One Response to “Judge Denies Minuteman Parade Petition”

  1. holloywood Says:

    Get some vererans to wear MM t shirts and carry banners….go in the back door!

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