Judge Grants CRE’s Request for Preliminary Injunction Allowing Pastor to Hand out Free Calendars with Christian Message on Public Sidewalk Bordering Seville Square during PrideFest.
PENSACOLA — May 30, 2013. Yesterday, a federal judge in Florida cleared the way for Pastor Bill Adams to go back to the annual PrideFest event in Pensacola and hand out his evangelism-based materials on a public sidewalk. The court granted a motion for preliminary injunction requested by the Center for Religious Expression after the City of Pensacola had banned Pastor Adams from distributing religious literature on the public sidewalks surrounding Seville Square while PrideFest was taking place in the park.
“Sidewalks are the public spaces of America’s cities and towns.” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “All citizens have the right to share their views on a sidewalk, even if those views happen to be religious.”
PrideFest is a homosexual-themed event that is free and open to the public. At last year’s PrideFest, Pastor Adams and several members of his congregation attempted to hand out free calendars containing a salvation message on the back to those found in the area. 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.
“We are pleased that Pastor Adams will be able to offer a gospel message to those who pass by on their way to PrideFest this year,” said Kellum. “The law is clear and we are thankful for the protection it affords Pastor Adams and others who want to share their faith.”