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FRI Postal Service Dispute Antigay Mailer

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The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Family Research Institute alleges that a local post office violated its freedom of speech by refusing to grant a reduced nonprofit bulk rate for a mailing of an antigay newsletter about gays in the military.

According to KKTV, "The Family Research Institute wanted to express its concerns about gays in the military in a bulk newsletter to be mailed out. FRI says local postal officials refused to mail out the newsletter because they deemed the content 'obscene' and 'incited force-able resistance against the government' after a routine check of the mail before it was authorized to be sent out. However, Ron Perry with U.S. Postal Service community relations claims local post office officials never refused to mail it out, they just wouldn't mail it at a reduced nonprofit bulk rate because they believed it violated guidelines stated in the Domestic Mail Manual for obscene content. 'We have mailing standards that we have to uphold,' said Perry."

KKTV reports that the four-page newsletter includes research and an interview with a female enlistee who talks about her experience in basic training with gay recruits.

The newsletter was sent to Washington, D.C., for review, and the United States Postal Service Pricing and Classifications board overruled the local judgment. FRI will be allowed to mail the newsletter at the nonprofit rate, which will cost it three cents less per piece than the standard rate.

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