Evangelist sues for free speech in campus evangelism

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

A Christian evangelist is asking a South Dakota court to guarantee him his constitutional rights.

Mark Gavin has a heart for young people and has been trying to spread the gospel at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. Attorney Nate Kellum of the Center for Religious Expression tells OneNewsNow Gavin wanted to use one of two areas to best reach students.


"But he ran into some problems out there," he adds. "Basically, he was told that for him to be able to speak on that campus, he would have to go to a table inside the student union, known as the Surbeck Center, and also he would have to pay $50."

One of the questions Gavin is raising in federal court is why he has to pay a fee for free speech.

"There's no question that it runs afoul of the First Amendment because the First Amendment acknowledges that as citizens we enjoy the freedom to share our views, to share our messages in public places, but South Dakota School of Mines is not recognizing that," Kellum says. "What it's doing is keeping Mr. Gavin from sharing his message in a public place."

Kellum says his client is not asking for monetary damages, just protection of his constitutional rights.

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