Newport Beach Councilman Scott Peotter Finds “Diversity” is Anything But, Even in Red County

PeotterLet’s come right out with the obvious. Scott Peotter expressed his views on same-sex marriage in one of his regular updates as a Newport Beach Councilman. And of course it has caused quite the stir in the Newport Beach Community, to put it mildly. Though sent from a private email account, and sent as a private email, having the City of Newport Beach seal prominently displayed in the email header was probably not the best idea. Recall that we saw the political career of former OCGOP Central Committee member Marilyn Davenport ended over a “racist” depiction of President Obama in a private email sent from a private account, and very few in the Republican Party came to her aid even though all she did was forward a cartoon that had been forwarded thousands of time across the country. Well the climate has only gotten worse and hopefully Scott will not suffer the same fate, because people of good conscience should recognize that while Scott could have made it more clear that his email regarding his view of same-sex marriage was separate and apart from his role as a city councilman, he has every right to express his sincere view without reprisal as there is absolutely no evidence he has discriminated against anyone in functioning as a representative of the city of Newport Beach.

An article in the Daily Pilot by LGBT activist Kevin O’Grady is representative of the view of the LGBT movement, and I think we need to take particular notice with how the “hate” campaign is being waged, which will get a bit philosophical. Specifically, O’Grady makes a moral claim, and in making the moral claim, his logic is that if you don’t believe in his version of morality then you are necessarily, not probably or possibly, but necessarily a bigot, homophobe, or hater. Now O’Grady doesn’t believe, along with his supporters in the comments section, that any religious view has a place in the public square, and certainly not in City Council deliberations. A Christian must check their deeply held beliefs at the door of City Hall, but oddly this doesn’t apply to any other views. O’Grady doesn’t describe, however, why we should accept his particular brand of moral relativism. He simply takes for granted that since he thinks anyone that is against marriage is necessarily a hater, then it is necessarily so based on his own authority. He has no appeal to any objective source. Peotter, on the other hand, appeals to nature’s law, coupled with his belief that it is the God of the Bible that buttresses and supports the natural law providing an objective moral basis, which is entirely in keeping with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the writings of the framers of our founding documents. Peotter can appeal to nature as specifically guiding his view on traditional marriage since only a man and a woman can come together and naturally propagate the species (regardless of intent at any given moment in time), with the nuclear family and complimentarily of man and wife raising children being the centerpiece of society. In a same-sex union, this can only be done by involving a third-party, denying children of their right to a biological mother and father from the very beginning. Promoting any other arrangement, in my view is blatantly selfish towards children.

The tragedy of the same-sex marriage debate as waged by the LGBT activist community is the malicious manner in which it has been executed. Having grown up in the 1960s, I distinctly remember precisely where I was as well as my parents’ reaction to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, I marveled at the love and the graciousness he displayed along with the other civil rights leaders and marchers. In the face of visceral hate, with the threat of death at every turn, Dr. King fought for the civil rights of blacks in America. It was normal leading up to those days for blacks to be beaten and brutally murdered through shootings, beatings, burnings and lynching. We had hoses and dogs turned on us for simply wanting to get a college education. We suffered for almost 400 years. Yet the LGBT activist calls anyone who simply disagrees on same-sex marriage a “hater”? Dr. King never sought to silence anyone. Dr. King never gloated as did the LGBT activist that successfully ended the career of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, and he never tried to destroy any person’s livelihood. Yet the LGBT activist community continually attempts to silence opposing views, demonize their “opponents,” and destroy the livelihoods of those who disagree with them. I don’t see any love or grace in that. So I question any moral arguments they make because they are not made from love, but from vengefulness and spitefulness over a definition that is not discriminatory and never has been. The LGBT community has every right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and there is no hindrance to that whatsoever. Saying that unless everyone agrees with same-sex marriage that this is tantamount to the civil rights struggles of blacks is preposterous. They’re not even gracious in their court-appointed victory. Finally, I don’t know of any Christian or otherwise that believes same-sex couples or any other consenting adults should be denied the rights to legal contractual agreements including matters such as hospital visitation rights, right of survivorship, and estate planning. Christians do believe in love and grace, and thus naturally love homosexuals as fellow human beings knowing that we have all fallen short of the glory of God, but we will not condone or promote behavior that we believe is wrong.

In closing, I think we see that when we hear the term “diversity and inclusion” from the ranks of the LGBT activists and liberal progressives generally, in practice it means something entirely different. Diversity and inclusion, while it sounds positive and forward thinking, is nothing more than code word for the promotion of totalitarian views that seek to not only silence but to also punish dissent. Whereas in the days of old people were silenced through destruction of the physical body, the destruction today is digital, primarily through social media influencing the media and companies led by liberal progressives. By comparison, the old-fashioned way seems almost merciful.

16 Responses to “Newport Beach Councilman Scott Peotter Finds “Diversity” is Anything But, Even in Red County”

  1. Kelly says:

    In my view, the goal of these folks is NOT to gain acceptance, it is to tear down our moral and traditional Judeo-Christian foundations! The attack on the family and on our moral foundations, has been a goal of Marxists going back as far as Marx himself. As a country, in the name of political correctness and fearing being labeled as a bigot, we have allowed these folks to bully us into silence! We need to stand by Councilman Scott Peotter and stand with him against these Marxist tactics! During the Prop. 8 battle, if anyone remembers, these folks targeted citizens who dared to donate money to the Yes on 8 campaign! It wasn’t just the Mozilla CEO! If you also remember, Churches were being vandalized and folks were being physically assaulted! This needs to stop and as Christians and all Americans, we need to stand up against this unAmerican behavior! I encourage folks to drop an e-mail to the Newport Beach City Council in support of Peotter! The problem is too many good people are standing on the sidelines! If the army of families that showed up at Chick-Fil-A’s across our country that one day would now take a stand against this nonsense, there is no question these folks would quickly stand down! Good Americans across our country need to make their voices heard!

  2. MaryJane says:

    Two “Supports Scott” here!

  3. Cathy Richardson says:

    I received the following via email from a reader. Because he/she does not want to be identified, I will not use her/his name.

    I dare you to read this and respond with any type of supported, rational thought.

    Regarding criticism of Scott Peotter’s comments about the legalization of same-sex marriage… Mr. Pollitt, of your organization, called it intimidation, saying that , “…soon no one will be able to express their opinion…” Like so much Tea Party hypocrisy, you rail against free speech, saying that free speech is killing free speech. You can’t have it both ways. You want Mr. Peotter to be able to express his view that on HIS personal list of “acceptable” American rights, same-sex marriage is not included. So he wants to complain about it–which he did, using the bully pulpit of a Newport Beach City Councilman (otherwise, who would have read it–or cared?)

    But when his community uses their own free speech to respond, unfavorably, to his opinion, given his representative role, you complain that free speech is being limited. This is a representative democracy — an institution I’m sure you believe you support. The people he represents spoke loudly, in response. Now you’re unhappy with free speech and democracy. You like to re-frame disagreeable majority decisions as having been FORCED by intimidation and threat, because you cannot concede that there are more Americans who believe differently than your group. So, without the legitimacy of a majority, people like you and Justice Scalia do not attempt to frame your dissent in Constitutional terms, you do the only thing left to you–you attack the messenger, calling them names and describing their initiatives as stupid and unworthy. Back it up! Show where, in our Constitution, it says that the rights of SOME Americans can be taken away because some OTHER Americans disagree, on religious or personal grounds.

    • Walter Myers III says:

      Cathy, thank you for posting this on behalf of anonymous. Though it is not directed at me, I will still respond as I read Mr. Pollitt’s comments. Anonymous completely misses the point. The LGBT community has NOT allowed dissenting voices to be heard without consequences. The LGBT community has spoken and no one has sought to take their jobs away, demonize them as “haters”, or call them all manner of vitriolic names. Yet the LGBT community has done all of that and more. The man who called for Brendan Eich’s dismissal at Mozilla, for simply making a small donation to the Prop 8 campaign, which is supposed to be confidential but was leaked to LGBT groups, gloated with a tweet to Eich a couple of weeks ago after the Supreme Court decision. Brendan Eich responded that he had no job. The response of the man who caused him to lose his job expressed his pleasure that Eich has no job. Now WHAT is gracious about that? Brendan Eich did no harm to this man and no harm to anyone at Mozilla, yet he lost his job. And the cases are piling up where Christians across the country are losing their livelihoods and their ability to practice their faith for fear of reprisal. So I hardly understand what YOU are complaining about here. Neither Scott, nor I, nor Pollitt have expressed in any way that we don’t want others to have the freedom to respond. We’re simply asking that we be able to speak our minds without reprisal. How you could completely manufacture the charge that any of us is trying to limit free speech indicates to me why you want to remain anonymous. You make absolutely no sense. No one here said anyone was stupid or unworthy. And there wasn’t a single word about being unhappy with democracy. Are you sure you are responding to something Pollitt said? I see no correlation to what you wrote and what he said.

  4. Cathy Richardson says:

    In reply to the anonymous comment above:
    The tea party is definitely for free speech, even your free speech and that of Peotter’s community that believe differently than Councilman Peotter. What we object to is the intimidating demand by this community for the Councilman’s resignation and relentless demand if they won’t drop it. This is and would be a violation of Peotter’s first amendment rights. You and your community can voice your opinion and even that you wish him to resign, but to go beyond that and force him to resign is a violation of Peotter’s first amendment rights.
    When I read his comments in the email regarding SCOTUS’ ruling, I noticed he continuously used the word “I” voicing his personal opinion. Not once did he say “the City of Newport Beach” or “this council.” For anyone to decipher that because he had the City’s seal in his header (which consisted of a montage of photos), he was expressing the view or position of the City or of the Council is absurd. However, Councilman Peotter has agreed to drop the seal from his montage when emailing his personal emails as City Councilman Peotter for your benefit and that of your community.
    I believe the public has a right to know and we all desire to know the opinions of their elected representatives, so we should be glad Councilman Peotter voiced his opinion. Now, if you do not like his opinion, you can certainly vote against him.
    However, if Councilman Peotter was forced to resign, his Constitutional First Amendment rights would have been violated because it would be because he expressed an opinion (free speech) different than yours. Therefore, he is being intimidated into silence. In other words, you wouldn’t ask for his resignation or even protest if he didn’t express his different opinion. The truth is, we are already being intimidated into silence in many arenas of our society (the civic public, schools, work places, etc.) – again in violation of our first amendment rights.
    Again, let me state that the community has a right to express it’s views and opinions and even to ask for Councilman’s Peotter resignation but beyond that, it would be a violation of the First Amendment rights.

    • Geoff Shawcross says:

      Thank you for responding to my note. I understand your distinction, that the councilman was not overtly representing the Council in his opinion piece. However, the only reason anyone cared about his personal opinion is because he is a councilman. And—he was expressing an opinion, most likely from the point of view of a “fellow” governmental official, about the behavior of a Federal governmental agency. He cannot, as a sitting official, separate himself from his role, when commenting on the affairs of government. If he were to express his views on trout fishing (as long as it wasn’t regulatory) nobody would care. That is why his governmental post is at risk. He knew this before he commented, but like so many careless speakers, he assumed that “everyone” shares his personal beliefs.

      It is one of the greatest challenges of our modern democracy, where Americans are so certain that our government is “permanent,” that we take it for granted that we can assault the views and beliefs of our fellow citizens without consequence. This is TOTALLY different than petitioning and campaigning to change the actions of government.

      Our democracy is permanently fragile. Along with supporting a Free Press, a respect for our neighbors is critical to the survival of the United States. Keeping in mind, that nowhere in the Constitution does it indicate that the personal or religious views of one citizen should be a framework for restricting the rights of another citizen. We must always side with supporting freedom of choice—as long as one’s personal behavior/beliefs are not forced on others. Mr. Peotter wanted to lampoon and criticize the support of the Federal government for people whose behaviors he doesn’t like. Sorry, those Americans breath air just like Mr. Peotter. Just not the way HE wants them to. Live by the sword—die by the sword.

  5. Cathy Richardson says:

    Also to anonymous: I also want to reply to your comment “to show you” where the Constitution states that “the rights of SOME Americans can be taken away because some OTHER Americans disagree, on religious or personal grounds.” The Constitution’s First Amendment Right includes the free exercise thereof of religion or religious belief. Marriage was sanctified and created by God to be between one man and one woman. It is a deeply held religious belief and secular belief held for over 2,000 years. And, as far as equality is concerned, no one has taken away the equal right for a homosexual to marry one of the opposite sex. To marry one of the same sex would be to redefine marriage, which is what the SCOTUS ruling did. This ruling will prohibit the free exercise thereof, a violation of the Constitution. Although you and your community may have gained, the larger picture is that judicial tyranny is reigning in America. I believe the people or the legislature of 40 states initially voted for traditional marriage and systematically have been rejected by judges.

    • Geoff Shawcross says:

      I respect your personal, religious beliefs. I make no effort to change them. However, your premise, related to same-sex marriage is fundamentally incorrect.

      Like many fervent believers, the world over, you take your personal beliefs to be fact. Unfortunately, they are not fact. That is why religious belief is referred to as faith.

      The Bible is apparently an important, sacred text for you. This is a wonderful thing, since the Bible is, essentially, like so many religious texts, an early form of government and constitution. It spelled out the ways that people could live together, in harmony—as well as punishments for transgressions. Unfortunately, while much of its contents is historical, it is not entirely factual.

      As Archeologists and historians uncover other, early Bible-era manuscripts, each one hand-copied from some predecessor, they can see occasional additions or subtractions from a phrase, a verse or a story in what we, today, refer to as the Bible.

      For example, the famous tale, in John’s Gospel, in which Jesus challenges a mob about to stone a woman accused of adultery — “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” — is a variant that copyists began inserting into John at least 300 years after that Gospel first appeared.

      In the conclusion to Mark, the description of Jesus appearing to various disciples after his resurrection does not appear in the earliest manuscripts.

      And in Luke, the crucified Jesus’ plea that his executioners be forgiven “for they know not what they are doing” likewise does not appear in the earliest versions of his Gospel.

      My point, in relating these facts, is not to question your faith. But I do wish to point to your assertion that marriage was created by God.

      You are correct, the Constitution’s First Amendment includes the free exercise of religion or religious belief. This includes the freedom to believe DIFFERENTLY. This allows for ANY religious or philosophical beliefs. Including the right NOT to believe. So… whether it is Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism or Atheism—the fact that you refer to the Bible as your life guide has no relevance. ALL Americans must confront the difficult issues in their own way. So, while marriage has many legal effects on life, it is not up to you—or your God, to define.

      • Kelly says:

        Geoff, showing minor insignificant variants from the original Manuscripts to what we know today as the Bible, in no way backs up your claim that the Bible “is not entirely factual.” Keep in mind, as scribes copied these things by hand over many years and before the benefit of the printing press, mistakes, like for example skipping a line, were made, but that in no way takes away from the legitimacy or invalidates God’s Word. You also make the mistake of assuming that the older manuscripts are the most reliable, which some scholars disagree with. Try as you might to discredit God’s Word, that fact remains that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses or people who recorded first hand testimony of the life and times of Jesus Christ, which all comes together marvelously and consistently! Over several thousand years, no one has ever discredited or proven that the Scriptures are NOT the work of Almighty God and you have done nothing right now to show otherwise. As to your last line on marriage where you state: “it is not up to you-or your God, to define.” All I have to say is how sorry I am to report to you that God has already defined that issue some 6,000 years ago in the Garden of Eden. You see, He defined the issue of marriage very clearly to Adam and Eve and His definition is the only definition that will ever really matter, despite what a few lawyers on an American court may say 6,000 years later. God will have the final say on marriage and His decision cannot be appealed to any court!

        • Geoff Shawcross says:

          This is, of course, dangerous territory. I will try to tread carefully and respectfully. There are, by one rough count, 65 holy books in current, fervent religious use on our planet. These include the Old and New Testaments, the Talmud, the Qur’an and the Bagavad Gita. The faithful of all these religions believe THEY have the answer. It cannot be the basis of U.S. law to select any single one of these Constitutionally-protected religious texts as the one representative of truth for every American.

          You are free to believe what you believe–and to shun and degrade members of your family and community for being born differently than the ideal you hold dear. But, as an American, you can also see the need to allow for other views on what is “true.”,

  6. Kelly says:

    Scalia didn’t attempt to frame his dissent on Constitutional grounds? The burden isn’t on Scalia to show anything! It seems to me that the burden is on the Justices who are now claiming there is this new right to show where it is in the Constitution, not the other way around! Did Kennedy show us in his majority opinion where this new right was in the Constitution? Did he even show us where marriage was mentioned in the Cinstitution? The answer is He didn’t! The reason he and the other activists on that court couldn’t cite any mention of marriage in the Constitution is simple: IT IS NOT THERE! Search as much as you want and you won’t find it! Marriage has absolutely nothing to do with the federal government and is Not a Constitutional right! This was an issue that was to be left up to the states and localities. The states were doing a fine job handling marriage and defining marriage until these activist imperial judges on the federal courts decided to appease certain constituencies in the public and took over marriage from the states, which was a total violation of the tenth amendment. You asked me to “Back it up,” so there it is!

  7. Walter Myers III says:

    Anonymous, Kelly is absolutely right. In this case, a state matter that was moving in the direction of the wishes of the LGBT community was turned into a federal matter. The difference between you and us is that we believe in the Constitution and apply it consistently. In the future, the tables will be turned at some time, and YOU will be upset that the federal government took on what YOU think should have been a state matter, but you will have no warrant to complain because you sacrificed that when just because you wanted a specific outcome you were happy to see the Constitution shredded. I will use an example to demonstrate why I am consistent. I believe the Federal DOMA law was unconstitutional, even though it sought to uphold and protect traditional marriage, and was glad when key provisions of it were overturned. Marriage is NOT a federal matter and even though I “benefited”, I was uncomfortable with it because I don’t believe the Constitution should be usurped because it is something I agree with. There will come a point, if you live long enough, where you will see this when you are hopping mad over some federal legislation or Supreme Court decision that you disagree with, and you will recognize that it was not a federal matter to begin with.

    • Geoff Shawcross says:

      I am not speaking for any group.

      As to the assertion Mr. Peotter should not be accountable for his opinion email — broadcasting an opinion about public policy, as a public official, is not the same as expressing a simple personal opinion. As I said, if Mr. Peotter had expressed his views about trout fishing–nobody would care. However, if a Forest Ranger did the same thing–people WOULD care–especially if he disparaged the behavior of particular trout fisherman he didn’t like. Many people might say, as an official with the park service, he would not be free to offer his opinion. Mr Peotter has to consider his role before sending an email blast, on a clearly controversial social/governmental issue, to lots of people.

      • Walter Myers III says:

        So Geoff, was it appropriate for the White House to display the rainbow colors on the White House, or was that acceptable to YOU since that is what YOU like. Seems to me here that you have a double standard. If it’s something you like, you support, but if it’s not something you like, then you don’t apply the same criteria. And as far as Scott “disparaging” someone, you have fallen into the trap of believing since he has a different opinion, which is firmly based on the natural law and millennia of history, your moral play is somehow superior. How can YOU demonstrate that Scott, or anyone else who believes as he does, should adopt YOUR view? What is it based on? Is it objective?

    • Geoff Shawcross says:

      On the Constitutional “integrity” of the decision, on same-sex marriage, it is true, as far as I have read the Constitution, that marriage is not addressed. But that is necessarily true of limitless topics/issues. That’s why the 9th Anendment was added, stating, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Meaning, the people retain the broadest interpretation of rights, unless the Constitution specifically addresses it.

      On the suggestion that S-S Marriage should be a state issue, you’re on good Constitutional ground. The 10th Amendment states,”The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” So… If the issue is not addressed by the Constitution, or not prohibited by the states (of course, it was by some) then the issue is left to the states… OR THE PEOPLE. The institution of marriages goes WAY beyond any individual’s religious or personal preferences. The legal effects of marriage cover property, medical, family and financial matters. Having a universally (Federally), legally-recognized partnership makes a HUGE difference in our society. Those without it are specifically prevented from exercising many basic and important rights. This has nothing to do with “approving” a lifestyle. It is simply a case of leveling the playing field. I don’t want a Nazi parade in my neighborhood–but they have the right to do it, in our great country. I wouldn’t like it–or agree with them, but, as Americans, we must always take the broadest approach to personal rights–as long as they are not forced on anyone else. And nobody is forcing anyone to marry someone they don’t want to.

      • Walter Myers III says:

        Geoff, you seem to be arguing a different point and side with this response. I don’t understand this post in relation to your previous post.

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