A church is taking Fairfax County, Virginia to court over a
The Church of the Good Shepherd in Vienna,
Virginia, a United Methodist Church, recently erected a
$37,000 sign publicizing some of its activities -- a sign that
Fairfax County claims is a violation of an ordinance that
allows any movable copy sign to change messages a maximum of two
times within a 24-hour period.
The church is represented by attorney Mike York, who is also a
"The church is a small church, but it's a very active church.
They have community outreach, they have service activities, they
have mission trips, in addition to something new going on at the
church every night," he accounts. "The church feels that they have
a mission to serve the community, and part of that is letting the
community know what they're doing and inviting the community to
The church sees no harm in broadcasting those events to
the public and is asking for a dismissal of the county
"We're asking a federal judge to set aside both the zoning
ordinance and the enforcement policy, because we think that they
have exceeded their authority, and we think that they are impairing
legitimate free speech and free exercise of religion rights," York
He intends to pursue a preliminary injunction in the near future
to halt enforcement pending outcome of the lawsuit.