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ACLU Defends Church in Utah

ACLU Defends Church in Utah September 17, 2012

Here is yet another example of the ACLU defending the rights of a Christian church, which should cause more than a bit of cognitive dissonance in your average wingnut (if there was any cognition going on at all, that is). The ACLU of Utah has filed suit in defense of the free speech rights of a church to hand out literature:

Today, the ACLU of Utah filed a complaint on behalf of the Main Street Church of Brigham City challenging Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance. The suit alleges that on its face, the ordinance violates the Utah and United States Constitutions because it requires a permit for almost any conceivable form of public expression and imposes civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply. This ordinance could subject many unsuspecting people in Brigham City to liability for engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment.

Because Brigham City is actively barring Main Street Church from two public sidewalks in the city, Main Street Church has also moved for a temporary restraining order to immediately prohibit Brigham City from continuing to restrict Main Street Church’s First Amendment rights to assembly, free speech, and free exercise of religion in a traditional public forum.

The ACLU of Utah believes that Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance turns the entire city into a place where free speech, free assembly and free exercise of religion are prohibited until people are granted a special permit designating free speech zones where they are allowed to engage in those activities. The process of granting such permits is controlled by the city’s police chief, attorney, and administrator, who are given absolute discretion of how, when, and why to establish such zones, and have taken it upon themselves to limit the exact nature of what the activities will include and how many people may be involved. Failure to comply with these restrictions will mean civil and criminal penalties for those engaged in activities that are clearly protected by the First Amendment.

There are hundreds of such cases filed by the ACLU — but remember, that evil communist organization is trying to destroy Christianity and remove it from the “public square.”

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