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Published On: Mon, Jan 12th, 2015

Arizona church battle over road signs to be decided by US Supreme Court

The Good News Community Church sign that is causing quite the uproar - photo supplied ADF

The Good News Community Church sign that is causing quite the uproar – photo supplied ADF

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a small church’s lawsuit against an Arizona town that bans the congregation from posting roadside signs.

The case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Good New Presbyterian Church and Pastor Clyde Reed are battling to post signs to promote their congregation’s services, which is in a rented, temporary location.

The town has “strict limits on the size, location, number, and duration of the church’s signs” notes the ADF, who is representing the chuch.

“By stating the church’s signs are less valuable than political and other speech, the town is ignoring the church’s free speech rights and claiming to have the power to handicap, and even eliminate, speech it deems unimportant,” wrote Marissa Poulson.

The town of Gilbert has a sign code that strictly regulates when, how many, and for how long roadside church signs can be on display.

In 2007, Good News Presbyterian, also called Good News Community Church, filed a lawsuit against the town, arguing that the regulationswere discriminatory, especially since other signs were given more leniency.

“Gilbert’s code prohibits non-commercial event signs, including the church signs advertising worship services, from going up more than 12 hours beforehand in public rights-of-way,”reported Parker Leavitt of The Republic.

“The First Amendment requires equality in the marketplace of ideas. By stating the church’s signs are less valuable than political and other speech, the town is ignoring the church’s free speech rights and claiming to have the power to handicap, and even eliminate, speech it deems unimportant,” says the ADF.

The First Amendment requires equality in the marketplace of ideas. By stating the church’s signs are less valuable than political and other speech, the town is ignoring the church’s free speech rights and claiming to have the power to handicap, and even eliminate, speech it deems unimportant.

 

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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