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|A lower court federal judge previously sided with the city of Boston’s censorship of the Christian viewpoint on the public forum which the city designated as private speech. Liberty Counsel immediately filed an appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals..Shurtleff and Camp Constitution first asked the city in 2017 for a permit to raise the Christian flag on Boston City Hall flagpoles to commemorate Constitution Day (September 17) and the civic and cultural contributions of the Christian community to the city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, religious tolerance, the Rule of Law, and the U.S. Constitution. |
The city’s records show Boston has allowed at least 284 applications by private organizations on the city hall flagpoles without denial except for the Christian flag. Other flags raised include the Turkish flag (which depicts the Islamic star and crescent) and the Portuguese flag (which uses religious imagery). City officials have also never denied the “messages” communicated by the “Chinese Progressive Association,” the rainbow flag of Boston Pride, and a “transgender” pink and blue flag. The flags of private community groups include Albania, Brazil, Ethiopia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, as well as of Communist China and Cuba. No flag was ever denied until the city denied the flag of Camp Constitution.
Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The city’s discrimination against Camp Constitution’s Christian viewpoint is both obvious and unconstitutional. There is a crucial difference between government endorsement of religion and private speech, which government is bound to respect. Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted is unconstitutional.”