A Christian legal society has filed a lawsuit against the town of Oyster Bay, New York, for its treatment of a Christian woman.
Susan Mendelson of Jews for Jesus simply wanted to distribute literature and talk to people in a city park. Brett Harvey, an attorney with Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), explains what happened. “The city of Oyster Bay said you have to come to us to get a permit first just to have a conversation in a public park — and that simply is unconstitutional,” he notes.
Mendelson was arrested twice. Both times the charges were dismissed and the city ordinance was ruled unconstitutional.
“Christians should not be threatened with arrest or silenced simply because they want to go to the parks and express their beliefs,” Harvey adds. “Exercising your First Amendment rights is not a crime, and we have the same free-speech rights as anyone else in America.
The town did revise its ordinance but still insisted on permits. When Mendelson tried to distribute leaflets a third time, she was threatened with arrest. ADF has filed suit.