Raleigh, N.C. – April 19, 2013 – Today, Nate Kellum, Chief Counsel of the Center for Religious Expression (CRE), argued a motion for preliminary injunction in the Eastern District of North Carolina, on behalf of Tom Price and William Legg, seeking an injunction that would allow Price and Legg to hand out gospel tracts on public property in downtown Fayetteville during the Dogwood Festival. Price and Legg challenge city policy that lets the festival organizer eliminate disfavored speech and ban the distribution of literature on public property. With the motion, Price and Legg seek relief so they can share the gospel at this year’s event, beginning on April 26.
Kellum discussed the importance of the constitutional rights at stake: “Price and Legg merely want to hand out gospel tracts, while standing off to the side, so as not to get in anyone’s way. Leafleting is a vital means of communication and critical to the gospel message of Price and Legg. The pamphlet expounds on the message in ways that cannot be conveyed orally. Also, the recipient can take the tract with him and contemplate the message later.” Kellum added: “The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the fundamental right to leaflet in public areas. We’re hopeful the Eastern District of North Carolina will do likewise.”
The city denies that literature distribution is completely banned because they permit the activity to take place in a nearby park. Kellum dismissed the alternative: “That’s second-class treatment, a poor swap for Price and Legg. Their intended audience consists of individuals attending the festival and the park causes them to miss much of this audience.”
A ruling from the federal court should come this week in light of the upcoming event.