Thursday, August 28, 2014

Suit By Pastor To Sex Offenders Challenges Law Restricting His Ministry

In Montgomery, Alabama yesterday, Ricky Martin, pastor of the Triumph Church in Clanton, Alabam filed a lawsuit challenging a recently enacted state law aimed at shutting down his ministry to sex offenders. The complaint (full text) in Martin v. Houston, (MD AL, filed 8/27/2014) contends that Al. Code Sec. 45-11-82 violates RLUIPA, the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendments, and the free exercise, bill of attainder and due process clauses of the federal Constitution. The law, which is applicable only in Chilton County, prohibits registered adult sex offenders who are not related from living in the same residence or within 300 feet of another registered sex offender. Martin, as part of his ministry, allows sex offenders to live in trailers behind his church while they are locating more permanent housing. reports on the case.