DOJ Declines To Appeal Ruling Allowing Christianists To Proselytize In Parks
The Department of Justice has elected to let stand a court ruling which allows Christianists and other religious groups to demonstrate, preach, and proselytize in federal parks. The original case was brought by the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund over a preacher who was made to stop handing out pamphlets at Mount Rushmore.
"It was a bureaucratic nightmare," said Nate Kellum, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, a nonprofit Christian legal defense group. "He was completely stymied from sharing his Christian views with anybody else." The case "establishes that national parks are no different than any other public park," Kellum said. "There's no distinction now between Mount Rushmore and the city park down the street." Groups of 25 or fewer people may now demonstrate or distribute or sell printed material in designated areas of national parks and historic sites without a permit, according to interim regulations to be published soon in the Federal Register.Even though this decision by the DOJ is unrelated to DADT, Servicemembers United feels it is emblematic of the Obama administration's hypocrisy. Via press release:
"In the very same week, the administration says that it absolutely must appeal a federal court's decision on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' while it orders the Justice Department not to appeal a federal court's ruling in favor of the conservative Alliance Defense Fund. This contradiction is simply incomprehensible and insulting," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. "Servicemembers United renews its call for the administration to withdraw its appeal of both the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ruling and the injunction pursuant to that ruling."