Citizens jailed for religious speech on Bourbon Street

Thursday, October 4, 2012
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is suing New Orleans over an ordinance that violates the constitutional right of free speech.

Joe La Rue, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, tells OneNewsNow what the city has done is to, in effect, criminalize any religious speech on Bourbon Street at night.

"So you and I could be walking down the street, for instance, and we could be talking about just about anything and we'd be fine," he says. "But if you turned to me or I turned to you and said, 'God bless you,' we could be arrested, we could be subject to fines and we could be imprisoned for up to six months."

Several people have been cited and jailed for violating the ordinance. ADF represents one such person, a New Orleans pastor named Paul Gros, who was not arrested because he heeded a police officer's warning to shut up. La Rue says the officer's instructions are patently unconstitutional.

"And this is the problem," he remarks. "A lot of people just don't realize that religious speech is just as important and just as protected by the Constitution as any other type of speech, and it's really sad that we have to bring this type of lawsuit to make that point."

Previously, Gros had gone to Bourbon Street two evenings a week -- for over three decades -- to share the gospel. ADF is asking the court to declare the ordinance unconstitutional so their client and anyone else can engage in free speech in the popular tourist area.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Can grassroots conservatives sympathize with Sanders' supporters deceived by the DNC?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Clinton says glass ceiling cracked after winning historic nomination
Clinton, Dems put gun control at center of DNC stage
Sanders loyalists bash Clinton nomination, clash with police
Democrats formally nominate Hillary Clinton for president
Clinton, Dems put gun control at center of convention stage
Police arrest more than 2 dozen near Minn. gov. home
Latest: 3 slain in possible Arizona murder-suicide
Sushi restaurant worker among 93 Hawaii hepatitis A cases
Sanders supporters: Unmoved by plea to support Clinton
Obama approves more refugees from Central America
Islamic State claims attack that killed priest during Mass

LATEST FROM THE WEB

At DNC, Bill Clinton talks about how he met a girl'
Clinton is 1st woman chosen as presidential nominee
Bill Clinton, 'Mothers of the Movement' featured at DNC; 'Anti-Police' march in Philly
As DNC nominates Clinton, Sanders supporters chant 'Bernie or jail; in the hallways
Clinton donor shafts Philly workers as DNC celebrates

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
38th case filed against HHS mandate

Indiana-based Grote Industries is the latest to file suit against the ObamaCare mandate.