September 16, 2013
DULUTH, MINNESOTA — After years of fighting for their first amendment rights, Steve Jankowski and Peter Scott have come to an agreement with the City of Duluth that protect their rights to share their faith at a city park during the annual “Bentleyville Tour of Lights” event.
“We are pleased that the path has been cleared for Steve, Peter and other Christians to offer a gospel message to those going to the the Bentleyville Tour of Lights without fear of arrest or harassment.” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum.
In 2010, Jankowski and Scott were handing out literature sharing about their Christian faith at the event. But as they spoke to passers-by, they were approached by event officials who harassed and threatened them because of their faith. Jankowski and Scott eventually called the police about the threats as they escalated, but to their surprise, the police asked the Christians to leave the festival instead of their harassers.
“Our concern was that the City of Duluth made the choice to support the desire of a private organization’s event officials to censor speech with viewpoints they don’t like instead of protecting the First Amendment rights of citizens to freely speak in the public square, said Kellum. “And so, we fought alongside Steve Jankowski and Peter Scott to protect their First Amendment rights.”
After several years of pursuing legal action to ensure their First Amendment rights were not infringed upon, the case is finally settled and Jankowski, Scott and any other Christian are now clearly able to share their faith at the festival.
“We look forward to Christians being about to share about the true light of the world and the reason for the Christmas season with all who attend the annual Bentleyville Tour of Lights,” said Kellum.
Center for Religious Expression is a servant-oriented, non-profit 501(c)(3) Christian legal organization dedicated to the glory of God and the religious freedom of His people.