Friday, January 17, 2020

Online Site Has Immunity In Banning Conversion Therapy Videos

In Domen v. Vimeo, Inc., (SD NY, Jan. 15, 2020), a New York federal magistrate judge dismissed a suit by James Domen, a pastor who is the founder of Church United, a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the rights of pastors to exercise their faith without unlawful infringement.  Domen sued claiming religious and sexual orientation discrimination after Vimeo, an online video-sharing website, closed his account when he refused to remove five videos promoting sexual orientation change efforts.  The court held that Vimeo had both publisher immunity and immunity to police content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and that Section 230 pre-empts state civil rights laws. It also held that Domen had not shown the required discriminatory intent under either California or New York's anti-discrimination laws, and had not stated a free speech claim under California's constitution.  Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.