West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath insists that Donald Trump must be banned from speaking in her city in the name of “diversity.”
Horvath defended her stance on CNN Tuesday, saying her city, which is the heart of the gay community in Los Angeles, was “open” and “welcoming” –and therefore the Republican presidential frontrunner could not campaign there.
“You know, West Hollywood is a very diverse community,” Horvath told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “We’re over 40 percent LGBT. We have Russian-speaking immigrants, some of whom were concentration camp survivors. We’re the first declared pro-choice city in America. Our city is very diverse, we’re very open, we’re very welcoming. And that’s the kind of community we want to continue to be.”
“And the way that Donald Trump has used hate speech, his violent tactics, and systemically targeting people for their religion, for their country of origin, for their gender, is not the kind of behavior, not the kind of language that we want in our community,” Horvath added.
Last week, the 34-year-old mayor penned an op-ed in the LGBT publication The Advocate explaining that Trump would not be allowed to hold campaign events and rallies in the small Los Angeles County city.
“The campaign has gone beyond its right to express a political point of view or policy differences, which we all have to greater or lesser degrees,” Horvath wrote. “The hate speech and implicit calls to violence coming from Trump and his campaign are beyond the pale and have no place in any community in our country.”
In a follow-up email to the Washington Examiner, Horvath said she had instructed city staff to refuse to issue events permits to the Trump campaign, and that it was “well with[in] [their] right” to do so.
Breitbart News legal editor Ken Klukowski has said previously that Horvath’s order could constitute prior restraint, and would therefore be a violation of First Amendment protections.
During her appearance on CNN, Horvath declined to answer directly Baldwin’s question about whether she possesses the authority to instruct city staff to deny event permits. The mayor also declined to address the potential illegality or unconstitutionality of her order, instead telling the anchor that Trump’s rhetoric constitutes “hate speech” and is therefore not protected by law.
“The city is going to follow the law,” Horvath said. “This isn’t about free speech, this is about hate speech. We are able and willing to exercise our voice and use our first amendment rights to say we want to elevate the discourse here. we’re demanding civil discourse. That’s not too much to ask, certainly not of someone who’s running for the highest office in the land. He should respect the office by treating it with the respect that it deserves.”
Watch Horvath’s full interview on CNN above.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum