October 1, 2013
Illinois Town Reverses Discriminatory Facility Policy Against Religious Groups
Plainfield, IL—Today, Liberty Counsel and the Village of Plainfield reached a settlement of the federal lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel after Plainfield unconstitutionally rejected Liberty Counsel’s application for use of town facilities.
In response to Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit, contending that Plainfield’s policies violate the First Amendment and unconstitutionally discriminate against religious viewpoints, the Village has agreed to allow Liberty Counsel’s program and to change its policies. Plainfield’s revised Community Room Policy now makes it clear that “The Village does not prohibit an applicant from presenting civic, cultural, educational or informational programs from a religious viewpoint.” In addition, the Village has agreed to pay Liberty Counsel’s attorney’s fees.
In 2012, Liberty Counsel sought to use one of Plainfield’s community rooms to conduct an educational program promoting our Founders’ Christian values and ideals. The Village denied permission on the ground that its policies welcomed nonreligious groups to conduct “educational, cultural, civic, and informational events” but prohibited “religious groups” from using the community rooms for “religious purposes.” A Plainfield official told Liberty Counsel that the Village would approve an educational program regarding the founding of America, so long as it did not contain any reference to God or any other religious elements or discussion.
“The Village expressly discriminated against religious speech and viewpoints,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Today’s settlement should be a wake-up call to communities and towns across America that religious viewpoint discrimination is unconstitutional.”
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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