Contact: Mat Staver - 407-875-2100
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2005
Liberty Counsel Sues Library For Rejecting Its Application
To Use Community Room For Religious Meeting
Denver, CO – Today, Liberty Counsel filed suit against the Rampart Library District Board of Trustees after its application to use the Woodland Park Library Community Room was denied.
The Library policy states that the Community Room is “available to nonprofit civic, cultural and educational organizations for events open to the public.” However, the policy also states the following: “Meetings open to the public that are religious or political in nature must provide a balanced view and [meet] with the Board of Trustees’ approval.” Liberty Counsel applied to use the Community Room for specific dates at the end of May and on June 6, 2005. The application stated that the meeting would present a biblical perspective on marriage and homosexuality. The meeting would include prayer and scripture reading. David Mula, the director, stated that since the proposed meeting was religious, someone else must present an opposing view. In other words, the policy requires that any time religion or politics is discussed, the opposing viewpoint must also be presented.
The lawsuit requests that the policy be found unconstitutional and that the court order the library to allow Liberty Counsel to use the Community Room.
D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, commented:
“It is astounding that, of all places, a public library would
exercise callous disregard of the First Amendment. Under the policy,
any member of the public may say anything on any topic in the library
Community Room. That is, of course, unless the topic is religious
or political, in which case the library requires the speaker to present
the opposing view. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if a
Veteran’s Day message were punctuated with antiwar rhetoric?
This library policy would require the NAACP to invite the KKK to present
its view on civil rights. The policy is not only unconstitutional,
it is shamefully ridiculous.”