In 2011 the Archdiocese of Detroit announced that Voris was not authorized to use the word "Catholic" in reference to his media project "Real Catholic TV."
In a Sept. 23 memorandum in court, city officials cited previous statements of rally speakers Bannon and Yiannopoulos to make their case that the rally posed a security risk. Bannon had previously said on a podcast that he would “put the heads” of Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI director Christopher Wray “on pikes. Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats.”
Regarding Yiannopoulos, the city noted he had previously “incit[ed] racist and misogynistic abuse of an African American celebrity,” called for “gunning journalists down,” and addressed rallies that coincided with riots and disruption. Yiannopoulos has said that his comment about shooting journalists, made in a text to a reporter, was a taunt of reporters and not an incitement to violence.
He also had “a history of making comments advocating for pedophilia,” the city argued. Yiannopoulos was disinvited from the event CPAC in 2017, following reports of previous comments he had made suggesting that consensual sexual relationships between teenagers and adults could be beneficial. He responded at the time that he did not support pedophilia, and was “not referring to prepubescent boys” in his comments. He has said he is a survivor of child sex abuse.
In Yiannopoulos’ testimony in the case, Hollander wrote that he “called the City’s accusation of pedophilia ‘revolting’ and ‘grotesque.’”
“Although he acknowledged his history of ‘biting commentary,’ which is sometimes quite ‘caustic,’ he maintains that he is not the provocateur that he once was,” Hollander wrote of Yiannopoulos. “Moreover, he expressly condemned the use of violence,” she added.
Regarding his role at the Nov. 16 event, Yiannopoulos testified that he would function “primarily” as “emcee,” Hollander noted.
“He recounted that he was ‘raped’ by a priest, and he wants to speak about his experience to help others confront their abusers and the enablers,” Hollander noted. “He stated that the Catholic bishops are not his ‘enemy,’ but he views some of them as ‘very lost’ and ‘failing in their pastoral duties,’ and he believes they deserve to be held ‘to account.’”
“The First Amendment to the Constitution is at the heart of this case,” she stated. The city “acted on an ad hoc basis” in canceling the event, “without any standards,” Hollander said. Thus, St. Michael’s “is likely to succeed on its claim that the City’s conduct was not viewpoint-neutral.”
Regarding the city’s arguments of a security concern, she noted, “There are, no doubt, true emergencies in the life of a city, when officials must act immediately to protect life and property.”
“But, the matter at hand does not constitute an emergency,” she wrote.
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Christine Rousselle is a former DC Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. Prior to working at CNA, she was the managing web editor of Townhall.com; she has a BA in political science from Providence College.