Thursday, September 13, 2012

Church Sues Over Permit Denial To Leaflet Outside LDS Temple Open House

The ACLU of Utah announced Tuesday that it had filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Main Street Church of Brigham City challenging the constitutionality of Brigham City, Utah's so-called Free Speech Zone Ordinance that requires a permit for the Church to hand out literature on the sidewalks of the city.  The complaint (full text) in Main Street Church of Brigham City v. Brigham City, Utah, (D UT, filed 9/11/2012), alleges that the Church wants to hand out literature on differences between its beliefs and those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It wants to leaflet and engage in discussions with those receiving their literature during the month-long Open House for the LDS Temple in Brigham City.  It applied for a permit to carry out its activities on the public sidewalks adjacent to the streets on all four sides of the LDS Temple, but the city denied permission to leaflet on the two sidewalks with the heaviest pedestrian traffic. The suit alleges that the ordinance unconstitutionally restricts plaintiff's freedom of expression and assembly as well as its free exercise of religion.