A federal appeals court has ruled that a pastor, who says he successfully changed his sexual orientation through conversion therapy, can’t sue Vimeo for banning his account and removing videos focusing on the virtues of the therapy.
Jim Domen, a pastor from Church United in southern California, sued the video-sharing site in June 2019 for allegedly censoring and discriminating against him based on sexual orientation and religious beliefs. The lawsuit was dismissed by a federal court.
The videos were posted at the time to challenge a California Assembly bill that would have expanded laws that ban sexual orientation change efforts.
On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with the decision of the federal court in January when U.S. District Judge Stewart D. Aaron dismissed the suit, finding Section 230 gave Vimeo immunity because it restricted the content "in good faith."
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld that the streaming site is immune under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Vimeo removed Domen’s entire video library and blocked his account after it said the pastor had ignored warnings that his videos violated its policy against content that promotes sexual orientation change efforts.
Michael Cheah, general counsel for Vimeo, argued in court that the company did not agree with Church United or Domen’s content.
Former President Donald Trump called for the outright repeal of Section 230 last year while political and social conservatives claim the law discriminates against conservative points of view.
On his website, Pastor Domen describes himself as a former homosexual. He has been married to wife Amanda for 10 years and the couple have three children.