Monday, October 17, 2005

Ohio Library Backs Off its Attempt to Shut Out Religious Speech

Family Policy Network (

The president of Liberty Counsel says an Ohio library has settled in a lawsuit over its policy which banned controversial speech. Mat Staver says in May his legal firm asked the Newton Falls Library for use of their community room to give presentations on the biblical perspective of marriage. Staver says they included in the application the fact that there would be prayer and scripture reading. “This particular library policy said that if the program deals with a controversial subject, then all sides of the issue must be presented,” he explains. “After we filed our application, the library director sent the application back and denied the application – and in the denial section he said the reason is that we were dealing with a controversial subject.” Staver says it is ridiculous for the library to have a policy like this because it lends itself to censorship. So they filed a federal lawsuit, and the library quickly agreed to remove the policy removing all sides to be presented in discussions of “controversial” issues. “The library now has agreed to repeal that offending language and enter into a court-approved settlement so that this kind of a policy does not resurface again,” he says. Liberty Counsel plans to now go back to the Newton Falls Library to give its marriage presentation.

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