Bar on Church Protests|Called Unconstitutional

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – The Survivor Network of Those Abused by Priests claims in court that a Missouri law banning protests in front of places of worship is unconstitutional.
     The Missouri “House of Worship Act” makes it a crime to “intentionally and unreasonably disturb[ ], interrupt[ ], or disquiet[ ] any house of worship by using profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior, or making noise either within the house of worship or so near it as to disturb the order and solemnity of the worship services,” the complaint states, citing the law passed this year that is scheduled to take effect on Aug. 28. (Empty brackets as in complaint.)
     Joined as a plaintiff by Voice of the Faithful, in Federal Court, SNAP claims the law violates the First Amendment, and is unconstitutionally vague.
     The groups seek declaratory judgment and an injunction. Named as defendants are City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis City Police Chief Daniel Isom, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and Missouri Highway Patrol Superintendent Ronald Replogle.
     “Plaintiffs and their members will be chilled from engaging in expressive conduct when Mo. Rev. Stat. § 574.035 is effective for reasons including that they do not understand how, or by whom, it will be determined whether their expression disturbs a house of worship, interferes with those seeking access to a house of worship, disquiets a house of worship, disturbs the order and solemnity of worship services, constitutes profane discourse, is rude, or is indecent,” the complaint states.
     The plaintiffs are represented by Anthony Rothert of the ACLU.

%d bloggers like this: