A pastor at a Berkeley church was jailed Friday for 30 days after unsuccessfully arguing that an order requiring him to stay 100 yards away from an Oakland abortion clinic violates his right to free speech.
Walter Hoye, 52, of Union City was the first person convicted under an Oakland ordinance barring protesters from coming within 8 feet of anyone entering an abortion clinic.
In February, Judge Stuart Hing of Alameda County Superior Court sentenced Hoye to three years' probation and 30 days in jail, and ordered him to pay $1,000.
Hoye could have disposed of the jail time in a sheriff's work detail or by volunteering. But he balked at the judge's order to stay 100 yards from Family Planning Specialists Medical Group at Second and Webster streets. Hoye argued that the order was more severe than Oakland's ordinance and stifled his First Amendment rights.
Hing refused to budge at a hearing Friday at which Hoye's attorneys tried to stay the sentence pending an appeal. The judge asked Hoye to decide whether he wished to serve a month in jail or in an alternative program, and the pastor chose jail.
Supporters shouted, "We love you, Walter," and clapped as Hoye was led away by sheriff's deputies....
Hoye... was arrested May 13 at the Oakland clinic, carrying a sign that read, "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help you!"
As women approached the door, he asked them, "May I talk to you about alternatives to the clinic?"
I just received this email update from Pastor Hoye's wife, Lori:
I have visited Walter twice (Saturday and Sunday) and he is in good spirits and physically safe and sound. The Lord has placed him in what is known as the "Bible Corner" and at the time of my first visit on Saturday (Walter arrived at around 4:30am) Walter had already been in Bible study with some of the men in his unit. On Sunday just prior to my visit Walter had led one man to Christ. God is truly blessing Walter's presence in Santa Rita, and many men are seeking his counsel about their lives and situations. Walter requested prayer for wisdom while he is in Santa Rita and clarity from the Lord to continue to do His will upon his release.
If you would like to write or visit Walter here is the information:
Walter B. Hoye II
Santa Rita Jail
5325 Broder Blvd.
Dublin, CA 94568-3309
Visitation Schedule - Housing Unit 34
Thursday 12:00p - 3:00p
Saturday 12:00p - 3:00p
Sunday 6:00p - 9:00p