Fort Worth, Texas — August 5, 2015. Today, a federal court in Fort Worth Texas issued an order and judgment – agreed upon by the parties – in favor of David Grisham against the City of Fort Worth, affirming Grisham’s right to peacefully hand out gospel tracts and engage in friendly conversations on public sidewalks and parks during a public festival.
On October 4, 2014, Grisham was stopped and threatened with arrest for attempting to enter Fort Worth Square or the adjoining sidewalk to pass out gospel tracts to attendees of the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Festival. The Fort Worth police officers claimed that even though the event was free and open to the public, they required Grisham to leave because the festival’s organizers were prejudiced against Grisham’s religious views. The Center for Religious Expression filed suit to put an end to this “heckler’s veto.”
As a result of the litigation, the City of Fort Worth agreed to submit to a final order by the district court, assuring Grisham of his constitutional right to engage in religious expression in the future. The court ordered Fort Worth to inform festival permittees of those rights.
“We thank God for this victory,” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “No less than the Pride Festival organizers and attendees, Christians have the right to share their beliefs in public places and contribute to the marketplace of ideas.”