The #FreeSpeechBus has been unable to get back on the road after being vandalized by LGBT extremists last Friday in Manhattan.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Citizen Go put together the bus tour to promote “the natural family.”
“We are seeking to spark a renewed debate over the effect of gender ideology in law and in culture, in which we hope all sides will be respected,” Joseph Grabowski, director of communications for NOM, told CBN News.
“Those who believe in what we might call ‘biological realism’ – that is, the message proclaimed on the side of the bus, that a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl and always will be – cannot be shut out of this debate and labeled ‘bigots’ or ‘haters.’ It isn’t bigotry, it’s biology,” he said.
Last week, while the bus was parked near the UN for a scheduled event, two people scratched the bus with a key, cracked windows with a hammer, and spray-painted slogans like “Trans Liberation,” according to Brown and photos from the aftermath.
— NOM (@NOMupdate) March 23, 2017
— NYCyrano (@NYCyrano) March 25, 2017
“This is something out of the radical LGBT playbook: not having a rational argument, they will simply shout more loudly and try to intimidate people into staying silent who may disagree. This is the same kind of tactic behind the harassing lawsuits against people of faith in their businesses who run afoul of the LGBT agenda,” Grabowski said.
“But we are determined that these scare tactics won’t work. Indeed, one of the reasons we’re doing the bus tour is to embolden people who feel uncomfortable with men in women’s locker rooms and the like to speak up about it and not be afraid, knowing they’re not alone,” he said.
New York City is known for its support for LGBT rights and protesters gathered to attack the bus’ message, shouting “hate speech isn’t free speech.”
“Us merely saying, ‘Boys are boys and always will be, girls are girls and always will be,’ is hate speech according to the folks here. So I want to tell you one thing, we will never be silenced…we believe in the truth, we need to show up,” Brian Brown, president of NOM said in a recent YouTube video.
While the vandalism delayed the bus’ tour, organizers say they will be back on the road by Friday.
— CitizenGO (@CitizenGO) March 28, 2017
“The attack certainly emphasizes the importance of what we’re doing. People who don’t want to go along with radical ‘bathroom bills’ or policies that, for example, allow biological men to use women’s shower rooms and other intimate facilities are being intimidated into keeping quiet. They’re afraid of being called names for speaking up, afraid of being attacked just as our bus was attacked. We need to show such people that we’re out there fighting for them; that we’re not going away and we have their backs,” Grabowski said.
This is not the first time liberal extremists have attacked the free speech rights of conservatives.
Earlier this month CBN News reported an incident at a Vermont college where violent student protesters shut down a talk by conservative social scientist Charles Murray and injured a professor.
Emphasizing accountability and community, Middlebury maps the way forward following Murray protests. https://t.co/IaKq7EY42s
— Middlebury College (@Middlebury) March 9, 2017
Murray later recounted the incident in an essay posted on American Enterprise Institute’s website.
“The lecture hall was at capacity, somewhere around 400,” Murray noted. “There were lots of signs with lots of slogans, liberally sprinkled with the f-word.”
“Some were just having a snarky good time as college undergrads have been known to do, dancing in the aisle to the rhythm of the chants,” he added. “But many looked like they had come straight out of casting for a film of brownshirt rallies. In some cases, I can only describe their eyes as crazed and their expressions as snarls.”
Middlebury College said the incident highlighted how the campus has failed in its duty to exemplify how to debate unpopular ideas with civility.
“Increasingly, from things like the attack on the bus, or the many attacks and threats online against the bus and its supporters, the mask is slipping and the American people are finding out who the bullies and haters really are,” Grabowski said.
“Our message is not one of intolerance. We welcome debate, so long as it is conducted civilly and respectfully. But an ideology that cannot brook any argument or criticism, and just lashes out violently against any contradictions – that is, literally, the definition of bigotry,” he explained.
“So we would say to those in the LGBT community who are not bigoted in such a way that they need to speak out and condemn the radical elements in their own movement, and enter into civil dialogue with opposing viewpoints. We’re willing to listen, so long as we’re allowed also to be heard,” Grabowski said.