The Colorado Springs nonprofit, Family Research Institute claims the local U.S. Postal Service violated its free speech rights by refusing to mail controversial newsletters.
Paul Cameron, chairman of FRI, which has an openly anti-gay stance, said the newsletters addressed to about 1,000 of their subscribers called for opposition to the President’s stance of allowing gay soldiers in the military, according to CSBJ media partner FOX 21 News.
In the newsletter there is an interview with a woman military recruit who talks about her experiences in basic training with a group of lesbians, analysis of gay historian Randy Shilts, and excerpts from a retired navy captain’s letter describing his experiences with homosexuals aboard his naval vessel.
Opinionated as the letter may be, Cameron argued it is not a call to rebellion, and does not contain any lewd pictures or words. However, Cameron said the Colorado Springs Postmaster refused to mail the letters because he felt the overall content violated the post office’s domestic mailing manual by containing “lewd or filthy matter” and “matter inciting violence.”
“We didn’t say we would not mail [the letters]. We just said it couldn’t go at the nonprofit rate and would need to go standard mail, which was a difference of about $15 for the whole thing,” said USPS spokesman Ron Perry.
The issue, argued Perry, was pricing and classification based on his interpretation of the domestic mailing manual, based on the nonprofit rate rules.
Cameron said it wasn’t the price he is upset about, but what he feels was censorship and a violation of their right to speak and publish. “The post office delivers everyday mail with a host of nudity. We had no pictures, no dirty words, no four letter words,” said Cameron.
FRI did appeal and had the decision overturned, but is waiting to get the latest decision in writing before the group mails the newsletters.