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

What was your reaction to the prayers offered up at Donald Trump's inauguration? (Choose all that apply)

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Trump narrows down Supreme Court nominee list to 3
Trump acts to advance Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines
  Appeals court to decide future of California carbon auctions
Senate panel approves Haley nomination to UN
UK government loses Brexit case, must consult Parliament
Toyota to add 400 jobs, sink $600M into Indiana SUV factory

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Sen. Liz Warren refuses to disavow Madonna’s wish to ‘blow up the White House’
DNC chair candidates bash white people
Blizzard of ‘snowflakes’ prove political correctness is killing colleges
John Banzhaf: Felony rioting charges could provide genuine ‘deterrent effect’ on future anarchists
America's second civil war

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.