Religion in Society

No Prayer or Free Speech on Public Property in D.C.?

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For many years, the pro-life community has been allowed to pray, counsel and have a peaceful witness on the public property surrounding the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Washington, D.C.

Several weeks ago Planned Parenthood put up a fence around that public property and police are now threatening to arrest anyone who stands inside that fence.
View photos of new fence and "No Trespassing" sign

Watch video of peaceful pro-life witness outside of DC Planned Parenthood
The Christian Defense Coalition is challenging this unconstitutional crushing of prayer and free speech, and has applied for a permit to hold a prayer vigil on the public sidewalk leading up to Planned Parenthood.
That prayer vigil will take place on Tuesday, June 8, at 11:00 A.M. at Planned Parenthood, 1108 16th St. NW,  Washington, D.C.
Faith leaders will risk arrest before they surrender their First Amendment rights or allow prayer to be banned on the public sidewalk in the heart of our nation's capitol.
The Christian Defense Coalition and their supporters are being represented by the American Center for Law and Justice.
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,

    "It is both disturbing and a disgrace that prayer and free speech have been banned and prohibited here in our nation's capitol.
    "For many years, peaceful pro-life activists were allowed to pray, counsel and share on the public sidewalk and property in front of Planned Parenthood.
    "Now after putting up a fence around that public property, the Washington, D.C. Police Department is threatening to arrest anyone who steps inside that fence to pray and counsel.
    "Yet, that sidewalk and property still remain public.
    "On Tuesday, June 8, we have applied for a permit to pray on the public sidewalk leading up to Planned Parenthood. Our hope is that the City of Washington, D.C. will honor and respect the First Amendment and allow us to celebrate our free speech rights in the nation's capitol.
    "However, even if we are threatened with arrest and taken to jail, we will not be bullied or intimidated into silence or surrender. When free speech and public prayer are banned and prohibited, it is the duty of people of faith to peacefully challenge that injustice and boldly take a stand.
    "Dr. Martin Luther King stated, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' If we allow the trampling of the First Amendment here in Washington, D.C., then free speech rights are at risk all across America."