Two radio talk-show hosts in Palm Springs, Calif., have been dismissed after they criticized a local councilwoman’s demand that people boycott businesses that supported the state’s Proposition 8, an adopted constitutional amendment that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman.
“I voiced my opinion. I voted yes on Prop. 8, and I was fired over that,” Marshall Gilbert told WND today. “One of our city council members in Palm Springs, Ginny Foat, she had called for a boycott for any business or person that had supported Prop 8. I called her on it, [I said] ‘How can you call for a boycott on Palm Springs in this economic turmoil?'”
Gilbert also noted during his afternoon radio show that Foat had been a defendant in a murder case. He cited her statements calling for the boycott, then her denials of the statements.
Officials at KNWZ radio said it was Gilbert’s on-air accusations of murder against Foat that triggered their decision to take action against the program and its hosts, Gilbert and Gary Stone.
John McMullen, station spokesman, told WND, “We do not allow our employees to use our airwaves, of which we are the public trustee for, to make libelous, slanderous, defamatory remarks [about an individual], whether they are a public servant or private person.
“You cannot call people outright murderers and get away with it,” he said.
Gilbert said his description of Foat as a “murderer” was in the “same vein as calling O.J. [Simpson] a murderer.”
“I was using a metaphor,” he said.
Both agreed, however, the subject of Foat came up because of her statements regarding a boycott.
The councilwoman’s comments were reported by the local newspaper, the Desert Sun. The newspaper quoted Foat as saying she had “no recollection” of her comments, recorded during a Nov. 7 rally, that businesses that supported the marriage protection amendment should not be patronized.
Footage cited by the newspaper showed her holding a microphone and saying, “So when you see a business on that list, you need to not utilize that business.”
The video then cut, according to the newspaper, to Foat holding a microphone for a woman reading names of Palm Springs-area supporters of Proposition 8.
The newspaper said that at a Nov. 12 city council meeting resident Sheila Grattan called out Foat on the issue.
Foat responded that she “never read the names of any businesses and I never called for a boycott.”
Foat later told the newspaper that when she was answering Grattan, she didn’t remember the rally statements.
She explained the rally was “emotionally charged.” She later told the newspaper that regardless of remarks she made at the rally, she does not support a boycott of Palm Springs businesses.
WND reported earlier on the intense confrontations that developed when it became obvious Californians had voted to define marriage in their state constitution as between one man and one woman only.
A pro-‘gay’-marriage protester in Palm Springs
Palm Springs television station KPSP posted video showing homosexual activists screaming at and trying to intimidate a 69-year-old woman protesting in favor of traditional marriage. The video remains on the television website under the live report link.
Gilbert told WND his job termination appeared to him to be related to his criticism of Foat.
“The bottom line is I stood up for and denounced a boycott [call] by Ginny Foat in a city in economic turmoil,” he said.
Gilbert said he’s uncertain about his plans now.
The local newspaper reported Foat was implicated by an ex-husband in the 1965 killing of a businessman in Louisiana. She was indicted in 1983 and acquitted at trial, the report said.
The “Marshall and Stone Show” aired from 3-6 p.m. and featured political and current events.
“Talk radio is supposed to be outrageous and over the edge,” Gilbert said. “If we have to be monitored, it’s not talk radio.”
Seven justices in Supreme Court courtroom in Sacramento, from left to right: Associate Justice Carlos R. Moreno, Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard, Associate Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Associate Justice Ming W. Chin, Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter and Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan
1. Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?
2. Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
3. If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?
The court ordered the state of California, Attorney General Jerry Brown, the state registrar of vital statistics and the deputy director of health information and strategic planning of the California Department of Public Health to “show cause before this court … why the relief sought by petitioners should not be granted” on or before Dec. 19.
But the Supreme Court rejected a stay on Proposition 8, allowing it to remain in effect and preventing homosexuals from exchanging vows until the case is decided.
The lawsuits, filed on behalf of homosexual couples, “gay-rights” organizations and the city of San Francisco immediately after the vote, claim Prop. 8 revises the constitution rather than amends it. An amendment only requires signatures on petitions before it can be placed on the ballot, whereas a revision must receive a two-thirds vote by the state legislature or a state constitutional convention before inclusion on ballots.
The issue had been complicated in California because even as Proposition 8 was being put on this year’s election ballot, the state Supreme Court was busy overturning a 2000 vote of the people that also defined marriage as between one man and one woman only. The previous measure, however, was only in law, not the constitution, and the court could overturn it.