Anti-abortion gubernatorial candidate in court after campaign banner seized
By Jay Baggett
|Neal Horsley with “obscene” sign|
Political pundits may not give Neal Horsley a chance at being Georgia’s next governor, but the anti-abortion activist and gubernatorial candidate still believes the First Amendment guarantees his right to try … without the police seizing his campaign sign and charging him with obscenity.
On Thursday, Horsley appeared in Carrollton, Ga., municipal court seeking dismissal of an obscenity charge for carrying a campaign sign displaying the head of an aborted fetus last summer.
The judge refused to dismiss the charges and, when Horsley demanded a jury trial, transferred the case to county court where it will be heard in a few weeks.
Horsley is perhaps better known for operating the “Nuremberg Files” website in the late 1990s that featured names of abortion practitioners. He was accused by abortion advocates of inciting violence for crossing out names of doctors who had died or who had been killed.
His website featured prominently in Planned Parenthood vs. American Coalition of Life Activists, despite the fact the defendents did not own or operate the Nuremberg website and its actual owner, Horsley, was not a named party in the case. Nonetheless, the Portland, Ore., pro-life activists were hit with a judgment of $109 million for creating “Deadly Dozen” posters on which the names of 12 abortion doctors were listed.
Horsley’s latest troubles began on July 4 when he kicked off his third-party campaign for governor in downtown Carrollton, wearing a large sign on his back showing the head of an aborted baby and singing an anti-abortion ballad he had written – “The Dead Baby on My Back Blues”.
Police told the Creator’s Rights Party candidate to remove the sign.
When Horsley returned to campaign at Carrollton City Hall several days later, police confiscated the sign and charged him with obscenity.
With the case not being heard in county court for several weeks, Horsley objected to the city keeping his campaign sign as evidence, the Rome News-Tribune reported.
“That ain’t right,” Horsley said.
“My problem is I’m running for governor and the clock is ticking,” Horsley told the judge. “I’m effectively being short-circuited in campaigning.”