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View Diary: Man faces 90 days in jail for honking in support of protest against Congressman (253 comments)

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  •  Not per the Constitution, (8+ / 0-)

    where religious speech gets no more, nor less, protection than political. You might however, give a close look at the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which is a statutory, rather than Constuitutional protection. I'm not up to date on the caselaw surrounding the RFRA.



    Medical Marijuana is Healthcare. does YOUR bill cover it?

    by ben masel on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 10:34:45 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  If I stand up on a street corner (5+ / 0-)

      and quote scripture because  I believe that God has spoken to me and ordained that I must preach the gospel to sinners -- you can't arrest me for disturbing the peace.  Here's just one quick example:

      KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund are defending a husband and wife arrested while preaching on the corner of a city block in downtown Kansas City.  After ADF filed an appeal regarding the charges brought against the couple, the court granted a brand new trial in the case.

      "Religious speech is not second-class speech, and Christians should not be arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights," said ADF Litigation Counsel David LaPlante.  "Unfortunately in this case, a Christian husband and wife were arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct for sharing the Gospel in a public place."

      Michael and Joy Wheeler spent a night in jail after being arrested at the Kansas City Area Transit Authority’s Transit Plaza on the corner of 10th and Main streets.  A municipal court denied ADF’s motion to dismiss the case, but upon appeal the Wheelers were granted a brand new trial.

      On Nov. 7th, 2005, Michael Wheeler was sharing his faith at the Transit Plaza park area alongside his wife, who was quietly praying, when a Metro bus supervisor approached them and told them to leave.  The Wheelers began to pray, and police soon arrived to arrest the couple.  Michael Wheeler was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct and Joy Wheeler was charged with disorderly conduct.

      "The First Amendment protects religious speech," said LaPlante.  "Mr. Wheeler has been sharing his faith in public at that location and locations across the country for the past 21 years.  It’s hard to believe that we’ve come to a point in our country where Christians are arrested for sharing the Gospel on a public street corner."

      The new trial in City of Kansas City v. Wheeler is scheduled for August 11th, 2006 in Jackson County Circuit Court.

      Here is the motion to dismiss

      I can't find any appeals, so I am presuming it was in fact dismissed based on his exercise of 1st Amendment rights.

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