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Buffalo Agrees to Allow Christian Speech

Monday, June 18, 2012 | Tag Cloud

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

BUFFALO, NEW YORK (Worthy News)-- The city of Buffalo has agreed with a court order preventing its officials from removing a Christian from this year's Italian Festival for speaking about his faith.

Last year, Buffalo police threatened to arrest Gregory Owen for publicly sharing his faith during the festival.

“People of faith shouldn’t be threatened with arrest for peacefully expressing their beliefs,” said Nate Kellum, chief counsel with the Center for Religious Expression. “The city has done the right thing in allowing Gregory to peacefully speak with willing passers-by and hand out literature this year, just as the Constitution allows.”

Previously, police had ordered Owen to leave the festival under threat of arrest, claiming his actions violated an agreement with festival organizers. However, the city had issued the organizers a non-exclusive use permit that didn't prohibit the public from exercising their rights protected under the First Amendment; since the event was free and open to the public, the street remained a public thoroughfare.

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