BOSTON: Liberty Counsel Loses Christian Flag Battle

Courthouse News reports:

A civic group failed to persuade a federal judge Wednesday that Boston must mark its proposed event by flying a flag featuring a red Latin cross. Via Liberty Counsel Represented by Liberty Counsel in Orlando and the firm McLane & McLane, of Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, the group Camp Constitution filed the suit to fly its flag a month ago.

“Certainly, an event to ‘raise the Christian flag’ could serve some of plaintiffs’ cited secular purposes, such as the celebration of religious freedom in Boston and the contributions of Boston’s Christian residents to the city,” the ruling states.

“However, its primary purpose would be to convey government endorsement of a particular religion by displaying the Christian flag alongside that of the United States and the commonwealth in front of City Hall. Blowing in the wind, these side-by-side flags could quite literally become entangled. If plaintiffs were not seeking government endorsement, then Plaintiffs would presumably be content to raise their own flag on their own in the same location as has been suggested.”

The Liberty Counsel reacts:

The district court acknowledged the exclusion of the flag was content-based censorship and that the city historically allowed a wide array of private speech, but the judge denied the preliminary injunction. And, despite the fact that the city’s policy refers to the flagpole as a “public forum,” the opinion makes no mention of this critical fact. Liberty Counsel is appealing this ruling.

“Today’s ruling disregards the evidence that the city of Boston treats its flagpole as a public forum for all applicants except when it comes to a religious viewpoint,” said Roger Gannam, Assistant Vice President of Legal Affairs. “The Constitution does not allow the city to treat Camp Constitution and other Christian organizations differently from all others who are allowed to raise their flags for important events,” said Gannam.