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Businessman Challenges State Blasphemy Law

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A man who was not allowed to register his business under the name "I Choose Hell Productions" says the state's "Blasphemy Prohibition" is unconstitutional. Pennsylvania prohibits corporate names that contain "words that constitute blasphemy, profane cursing or swearing or that profane the Lord's name."

George Kalman runs a film production and distribution company that does business under the name I.C.H. Productions. Secretary of State Pedro Cortes rejected his application to spell it out.

Kalman says he "chose that name because of his personal philosophy, expressed in his films, that it is better to struggle through difficult times in life than to commit suicide: even if life is 'hell,' it is better to choose hell than suicide."

The state accepted the corporate name ICH after rejecting I Choose Hell.

Kalman seeks declaratory judgment, an injunction, and the corporate name. He is represented in Federal Court by Thomas Lee II with the Dechert law firm.

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