Middletown, Ohio — August 27, 2014. On behalf of John Williams, the Center for Religious Expression (CRE) sent a letter yesterday to various city officials in Middletown, Ohio requesting relief from a restriction that prohibits Williams from sharing his Christian message on accessible, public ways downtown during the Broad Street Bash.
There is no cost of admission for the Broad Street Bash and the events are open to the public. Anyone is free to walk in the area and yet, Williams is silenced under the threat of criminal arrest because event officials do not like the content of his message.
Looking forward to attending future events, Williams is seeking a reprieve from this ban via letter sent by CRE.
CRE’s letter discusses the First Amendment protections afforded Williams’ speech, explaining that the city is not at liberty to transform the nature of public streets, sidewalks, and ways in downtown Middletown into private property because a private entity holds a music festival in the area.
The letter demands written response from the City of Middletown within two weeks. “John wants the opportunity to witness during future Broad Street Bash events without fear of arrest,” Kellum explained. “The right to express ideas in the public square is too precious to ignore.”