Liberty Counsel is raising a warning flag over a city policy in Boston.
Boston has a policy allowing organizations to raise a flag next to the American flag on the city council plaza and bring in speakers. Liberty Counsel founder and president Mat Staver says the city permits varied groups to do so.
"[It has ranged] from flags representing the Chinese Progressive Association to the Boston Pride – and even a transgender pink-and-blue flag has been raised as part of this public forum," he describes. "But in this case, they said no to the Christian flag."
It was Massachusetts-based Camp Constitution that sought permission in order to celebrate the contributions of Christianity to freedom and the rule of law and point to the need for racial reconciliation through Christ. The group began the permitting process in July and offered several proposed dates, including September 7, 14, or 25.
Staver tells OneNewsNow that city officials – after much follow-up by Camp Constitution – responded to the application with a denial letter dated September 8.
"[The city said] it would be 'willing to consider a request to fly a non-religious flag, should your organization elect to offer one' – but they would not allow a religious flag," he shares. "So they only exclude religious flags while allowing other flags, meaning that they are discriminating against the Christian religious viewpoint. That is clearly unconstitutional."
In fact, according to Staver, private religious speech in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted does not violate the Constitution – but censoring religious viewpoints does violate the First Amendment.
On Thursday, Liberty Counsel issued a demand letter to Boston to change their policy. The legal group says if it doesn't receive confirmation of a policy change by September 27, the city will have an opportunity to defend its policy in federal court.