Tyler & Bursch, LLP / Advocates for Faith & Freedom
June 25, 2019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Desaré Ferraro
Tyler & Bursch, LLP Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against Vimeo On Behalf of Church United
Vimeo is an online social media platform, designed to allow its users to host, share, and stream video content.
MURRIETA, CA – Tyler & Bursch, LLP, has filed a complaint against Vimeo on behalf of Church United and its founder, Pastor Jim Domen. Church United is a religious non-profit dedicated to helping pastors and churches respond to cultural issues in their communities.
Church United’s Vimeo account, storing 89 of the organization’s videos, was terminated in November of 2018 due to an alleged violation of Vimeo’s guidelines. Upon termination, the media platform disclosed that they do not “allow videos that harass, incite hatred, or include discriminatory or defamatory speech.”
The content in question are a select five videos that discuss Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) and Assembly Bill 2943, which would have expanded California’s prohibition of SOCE, but was later retracted because of organizations like Church United’s efforts. Other video segments included Pastor Domen, a former homosexual himself, as well as other ex-homosexuals, sharing their experiences with SOCE and attesting to how it has positively impacted their lives; none of the media content discriminates or speaks negatively about the LGBT community.
Early this year, Tyler & Bursch attorney, Nada Higuera, sent a letter to Vimeo requesting the restoration of Church United’s account on the basis that Domen was censored for his sexual orientation and religious beliefs.
Vimeo replied with a denial of any religious or sexual orientation discrimination against Domen or Church United, stating that SOCE content has been prohibited on the site since 2014 because it “disseminate(s) irrational and stereotypical messages that may be harmful to people in the LGBT community.” Vimeo rejected the restoration of the account.
With Vimeo’s refusal to restore Church United’s account, the attorneys at Tyler & Bursch have deemed Vimeo’s treatment of Domen as a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the act established to provide protections from any discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation.
Domen’s attorneys are prepared to fight for his civil rights in court. Higuera, explains it this way: “All Americans, secular and religious, gay or straight, deserve the right to engage in public discourse, free from the type of censorship Vimeo is engaged in. Vimeo’s actions of deleting Church United’s account is discrimination and censorship, based entirely on an unspecified ideological objection to the message, or on the perceived identity and religious viewpoint of the speaker.”
*To read a full version of Church United’s complaint, see the link provided below.
Nada Higuera is available for additional comments and interviews by contacting Desaré Ferraro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-348-0808.