A nonprofit that leases a city-owned building prohibited the Pasadena Republican Club from holding an event that features a speaker who advocates against gay marriage.
The speaker is John Eastman, the director of Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, which is providing legal services for the Republican Club. The Western Justice Center rents out space to community groups at the historic Maxwell House. When they canceled the event, the Republican Club filed a lawsuit against both, the center and the city of Pasadena that owns the building.
The lawsuit argues that blocking the event is a violation of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. They say the city should not be allowed to pick and choose which organizations can rent space at the Maxwell House, nor should such discrimination be allowed at any city-owned property. But is the city’s ownership of the building relevant? Does a private entity that rents a space from the city free to block events if they don’t reflect their values? We debate.