We recently received a disappointing ruling in the case of Bill Diss, a Portland, Oregon public school teacher who was fired after he objected to facilitating a Planned Parenthood sex education program in his classroom. The judge granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, which means the case cannot go before a jury. Life Legal is appealing the decision.
Bill Diss became “enemy number one” with his local Planned Parenthood affiliate when he led opposition to a new PP mega-facility in downtown Portland.
When Planned Parenthood employees wanted to come into Diss’ classroom to recruit students for their “Teen Outreach Program,” or TOP, Diss said no. TOP is a federally-funded sex ed program that targets children as young as 10 years old. Diss respectfully asked to be excused from facilitating the program, as the content violated his religious convictions.
The school refused and then fired Mr. Diss.
The same Planned Parenthood affiliate was caught on video giving a 15-year-old girl advice on how to access pornography and engage in dangerous, deviant sexual acts.
[Source: Live Action]
The lower court ruled that teachers like Mr. Diss should not be afforded the full protection of the Constitution when they have religious objections to teaching content that violates their most deeply held beliefs.
Life Legal vehemently disagrees and we have filed notice to appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We are honored to represent Bill Diss and we will continue to fight for his First Amendment rights.
Life Legal attorneys Rebekah Millard (left) and Micah Fargey (right) with Bill Diss (center)