CRE sends demand letter on behalf of evangelist seeking freedom to speak on public way outside of state fair.
Des Moines, Iowa — December 4, 2013. The Center for Religious Expression sent a letter today to state officials in Iowa requesting relief from a restriction that bans Jason Powell from sharing his religious beliefs outside the gates of the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa.
Mr. Powell was standing on a public way outside of the Iowa State Fair on August 16, 2013 so he could share his Christian beliefs. Yet, Powell was forced to stop his expressive activity under the threat of criminal trespassing because state fair officials did not like his message. Looking to next year’s Iowa State Fair, Powell is seeking relief from this ban via letter sent by CRE. CRE’s letter expounds on the First Amendment protection of Powell’s desired speech on public sidewalks and ways, noting that the state could not transform the nature of a traditional public forum by having a state fair. The letter demands written response from the State of Iowa within three weeks. “Powell wants the opportunity to share his Christian message during the 2014 Iowa State Fair without fear of arrest,” Kellum explained. “The right to share ideas in the public square is too precious to ignore