September 22, 2017 - Friday
A Boston Massacre of the First Amendment
There's a new four-letter word in Boston: FLAG. For months, Massachusetts capital city has welcomed any group to schedule an event at the city council and fly their flag. "Any kind of group, that is... but Christian," LifeSiteNews reports. Despite flying everything from a transgender banner to a nod at the Chinese Progressive Association, the city specifically singled out -- and denied -- a faith-based organization called Camp Constitution.
In explaining its decision, city leaders insisted, "Boston maintains a policy and practice of respectfully refraining from flying non-secular flags on the City Hall flagpoles. This policy and practice is consistent with well-established First Amendment jurisprudence prohibiting a local government from "respecting an establishment of religion." They concluded with an offer for Camp organizers to fly a secular flag instead.
Attorneys at Liberty Counsel didn't waste any time responding. In a lengthy defense of the group's First Amendment rights, Richard Mast argued that it was unconscionable that the city would discriminate in such a way. "The city has never denied a request based on the viewpoint expressed by the selected flag, until now." Threatening a lawsuit if the matter isn't corrected, he insisted, "Government must treat private religious messages on equal terms and conditions with private non-religion messages. Government must treat all persons and groups seeking to use the forum equally, regardless of their viewpoint." Surely a city that played such a key role in the Revolution would understand that. If not, Liberty Counsel is prepared to remind them -- in court.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.