The Center for Religious Expression is committed to assisting truth-bearers who are being threatened and restricted from conveying the truth of the gospel in the public square. CRE pursues legal action that protects the fundamental, God-given right to share truth. In the past few weeks, CRE has secured two victories for our clients, clearing the path for them to share the truth.
PrideFest in Pensacola, Fla., is a homosexual-themed event that is free and open to the public. At last year’s PrideFest, a local pastor, Bill Adams, and several members of his congregation attempted to hand out free calendars containing a salvation message on the back on the public sidewalks surrounding Seville Square while PrideFest was taking place in the park. Neither Pastor Adams nor anyone in his group discussed the topic of homosexuality. Nevertheless, organizers for the event complained to the City of Pensacola Police, who promptly ordered Pastor Adams to leave the sidewalk or face arrest.
Because sidewalks are public spaces where citizens should be free to share their views, CRE filed a lawsuit on Pastor Adams’ behalf in federal court, and the federal court granted a motion for preliminary injunction in late May, so that Pastor Adams will be able to freely offer a gospel message to those passing by on their way to PrideFest this month.
Last week, a federal judge sitting in the Western District of Wisconsin granted another motion for preliminary injunction sought by the Center for Religious Expression, allowing Ryan Woodhouse to share his faith in Riverside Park during the annual Riverfest celebration in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Riverfest is an annual event held since 1983 that offers numerous events and activities to celebrate Independence Day in the park, attracting the public to Riverside Park, a public park located in downtown La Crosse. Last Fourth of July, in 2012, Woodhouse was forced by police officers under the threat of arrest to leave the park after attempting to share a Christian message because Riverfest officials did not want his message there.
Now, Ryan Woodhouse can celebrate this Fourth of July in a way that best expresses liberty for him: sharing his faith.
“We should expect that Christians who speak the truth will be challenged in our culture, says CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum, “but we should never cede any constitutional rights or allow Christians to be silenced. As these cases and many others show, Christians can stand up for the truth and win, securing their liberties in the process.”
When the rights of Christians are threatened, CRE is there to faithfully defend them. When Christian voices in the public square are marginalized or silenced, we are privileged to unmuzzle the gospel.