Burlington GOP chair says being offended doesn’t justify censorship of political stickers

To be offended by stickers does not give anyone legal justification to take them down, according to Burlington GOP Chair Christopher-Aaron Felker.

The stickers that provoked a controversy in the Queen City recently said “No one is ever born in the wrong body” and treatments for trans people can cause “lifelong medical dependency.”

In an interview with True North, Felker said “we do not censor speech in this country simply because it offends.”

“Calling something hate speech, that is a colloquial term that has zero meaning legally,” Felker said.

Town Meeting TV

Christopher-Aaron Felker

Felker said that while he was not involved in putting up any stickers, he became involved in defending them from being taken down based on free speech principles.

“Stickering is a common form of political speech in all urban areas throughout the country including Burlington, and I’ve lived here for 10 years,” he said. “I’ve seen tons of stickers for pro-choice organizations, for pro-abortion, for political candidates, for different events in town, the AFL-CIO, Black Lives Matter, and even the city’s own Community and Economic Development Office will post things up.”

Felker notes that those who may be offended by liberal-leaning stickers — for example pro-abortion stickers in town — have never urged censorship of those voices.

“Even though we’re not exactly the most religious city, we definitely have a substantial percentage of our population that’s Catholic,” Felker said. “I believe that Catholics would find the pro-abortion stickers to be offensive. I don’t see them screaming for the arrest of any of the pro-choice activists in town.”

The stickers

Concerning the content of the stickers in question, Felker said the claim that people are never born in the wrong bodies is one of compassion.

“It is not a message of hate, it is a message of love,” Felker said.

He said the claim that trans medical treatments can cause “lifelong medical dependency” is true.

“The male body is not intended to process those levels of estrogen, and the female body is not intended to process those levels of testosterone,” Felker said.

Women’s rights and public education

Felker also spoke out about other related topics, saying women have a right to private spaces and should not be forced to compete in sports against biological males who have transitioned.

“If that’s in conflict with what the transgender activists are advocating for then maybe we really do need to have a long conversation about this instead of just saying ‘this isn’t up for debate’. This is the United States and everything, as far as public policy is concerned, is open for debate,” he said.

He also said public schools that introduce transgenderism into the classroom are “driving a wedge between the parents and the schools.”

Is Vermont an outlier?

Polling data by Harvard University shows that a strong majority of Americans disagree with giving gender-affirming drugs to youth — 78 percent said they’re against it, and 22 percent said it’s appropriate.

“Vermont is out of touch with the majority of Americans on this,” Felker said.

GOP governor not protecting the children

Gov. Phil Scott signed bills this legislative session that give legal protections for those who perform abortions as well as transgender surgeries.

“Governor Scott said we need to have these conversations, but he has made no effort to actually sit down and have them,” Felker said.

Is history repeating itself?

Felker noted that Vermont already has a history with the eugenics movement, which involved the sterilization of young people.

“It’s sad that time seems to be repeating itself. You know 100 years ago Vermont was the hub for the eugenics movement, and we’re right there back to sterilizing young vulnerable kids again,” he said.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Christopher-Aaron Felker and Town Meeting TV

7 thoughts on “Burlington GOP chair says being offended doesn’t justify censorship of political stickers

  1. I remember I time not to long ago when vermont was a solid red state. I’m not saying all flatlanders are the problem but its because of flatlanders that we are no longer a red state. Texas can learn much from studying what happened to our state and make the necessary corrections if they don’t want it to happen to them… it’s truly become a sad state of affairs now that the majority of the population has attained the “Idiocracy” status and can no longer make smart and educated decisions without being told what thoughts they should make.

  2. God, or evolution, as you may prefer, gave us humans two small fingers sometimes referred to as pinkies, and they fit neatly into our ear canals, for when we choose to be in a public space and don t like what we are hearing…

  3. Chris, yes liberals don’t believe in the First Amendment, when what they are seeing
    or hearing is not part of their agenda !!

    You know when you’re doing something that’s right on target, keep pushing, there are
    plenty of Burlington residents that are sick of the liberal nonsense and the rot from

  4. The whole point of free speech is the right to hear things that offend you. Attempting to limit the speech of others under the ruse of being offended is just trying to censor what you don’t like to hear. Accommodated, it ultimately leads to tyranny. Time for the whiners to get over themselves.

  5. Progressives and fascists have identical goals. Their “truth” is dogmatic; agree with them or you are wrong. You will be persecuted for heresy until you recognize they possess the one and only incontrovertible truth – and you accept it. Their certainty of truth justifies their refusal to debate. As they put it, there is no justification for debating an opponent who is categorically in error. It will only confuse people.

Comments are closed.