On the night of the Catholic League’s rally against “Corpus Christi,” People for the American Way led a small band of anti-free speech protesters objecting to the league’s First Amendment right to voice its opposition to the play. Joining the attack on the Catholic League’s free speech was the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, National Coalition Against Censorship, PEN American Center and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
From the beginning, the league has argued that the play should not be censored by the government but that the producers of the play should have canceled it in the name of common decency.
William Donohue said that People for the Fascist Way would be a more accurate title for the organization leading the anti-speech rally and made the following statement to the press regarding this issue:
“The reason why Barbara Handman, vice president of ‘People,’ is leading the charge against the First Amendment is because she delights in exhibitions that assault the sensibilities of Catholics. She once told me that the Andres Serrano display of a crucifix submerged in a jar of urine was ‘glorious’ and ‘reverential.’ Given this mind-set, it is not surprising that she loves the idea of a Christ-like figure having sex with the apostles. But her enthusiasm for indecency is one thing, it is quite another when her debased appetite descends to gag speech.”