(TotalConservative.com) – A Texas gay couple is suing a Delaware conservative activist for accusing them of human trafficking and pedophilia following the live births of twins they purchased through the use of a surrogate.
Lauren Witzke will face off in court against Eric Vaughn, a hair salon owner, and popular TikToker with over half a million followers. Vaughn had been posting about the process of trying to adopt and ultimately documented their surrogacy process on his account.
He filed the lawsuit in Houston, and is seeking up to $75,000 in damages which he’d have to demonstrate were directly caused by her speech in court. He also said he was filing to make an example of Witzke and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Some are calling the lawsuit a cautionary tale, warning that there are limits to free speech, but Witzke is taking up the gauntlet and reaffirmed her willingness to battle for her free speech rights in court. Witzke has previously run for U.S. Senate, indicating she’s familiar with the public arena.
She elaborated on her desire to defend her speech in a written statement, and railed against the “LGBTQ Mafia” who she said seeks to chill speech, especially public criticism. Suggesting the suit lacks merit, she further explained her expectation it will be dismissed and her intention to seek attorneys fees and sanctions against the couple.
Further, she is discussing the possibility of having their lawyer labeled as a vexatious litigant, which would limit his ability to file “frivolous lawsuits” by forcing him to get approval from a judge first.
The lawsuit claims Witzke “spew[ed] hate and lies” online which irrevocably harmed their clients’ reputations. They called her commentary “especially reckless” due to her allegations they behave indecently with children. Her written response said that the tweet was a genuine reflection of her beliefs which she is entitled to like anyone else.
The lawsuit hinges on whether or not the court will consider Vaughn and his husband private or public figures. There is a much higher standard for defamation of public figures than for private citizens.
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