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Charges Against Chicago Police's Violation of Civil and First Amendment Rights at Gay Games Moving Forward

Federal Judge Denies Chicago’s Motion to Dismiss All Charges Against the City for Free Speech Violations

Contact: Thomas Ciesielka, TC Public Relations, 312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net; Michael Marcavage, Repent America, 800-373-7368 x 5; Andy Norman, Attorney for Repent America, 312-332-2400  

CHICAGO, Dec. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- On Friday, December 15, Federal Judge Milton I. Shadur, US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, denied in its entirety Chicago’s motion to dismiss charges against the City that it violated REPENT AMERICA’s (RA) First Amendment rights during the Gay Games earlier this year.

During the Gay Games, RA volunteers saw an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus who wants people to repent because “the truth is that God has put in the Bible clear prohibitions against homosexual behavior.” RA’s method is to engage people in conversations and pass out literature in public venues which is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. However, on Sunday, July 16, 2006 in Gateway Park across from Navy Pier, Chicago Police officers handcuffed three RA volunteers and arrested two of them, yelled profanities at them, and held them for four hours at a Chicago police station. Then on Saturday, July 22, 2006, on a sidewalk in front of Wrigley Field, where the Gay Games closing ceremonies were being held, police arrested an RA volunteer for holding a sign proclaiming that “Marriage is Between One Man and One Woman.” However, persons nearby holding pro-homosexual signs and deriding President Bush were left alone.

After these incidents, RA volunteers filed a civil law suit charging that Chicago violated their free speech rights, equal protection of the laws, and violation of the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act, all were found to have merit by Judge Shadur.

Andy Norman of Mauck & Baker, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said "We truly believe that this ruling will benefit people who struggle with homosexual temptation.  It will ensure that Christians can continue to preach the truth in love at homosexual events, so their message can be used by God for healthy change in the lives of homosexuals.  The judge has ruled that plaintiffs’ message of healing through faith in Jesus the Messiah, including people ensnared in homosexual lifestyles, can be publicly expressed.”
 
The judge’s order is available upon request.