Sunday, October 25, 2009

St. Louis Settles Lawsuit for Silencing Christians

Members of the St. Louis-based Apple of His Eye ministries said they were threatened with arrest in 2006 for handing out literature and talking about their beliefs during PrideFest, a two-day gay pride festival.

-- From "Settlement reached in St. Louis leafleting lawsuit" by Betsy Taylor, Associated Press Writer 10/22/09

Assistant City Counselor Dan Emerson said Thursday that St. Louis agreed to pay an $80,000 settlement for damages, attorney's fees and costs in the case. The city did not admit wrongdoing, but Emerson said the case brought some attention to an old law that St. Louis has since repealed.

Apple of His Eye ministries filed a lawsuit against the city in U.S. Eastern District Court in 2008. Lawyer Rick Nelson, who works with a group of Christian attorneys known as the Alliance Defense Fund, said the ministry was able to express its views and leaflet at the park this year after a judge ordered it should be allowed.

Alan Butterworth, a missionary for Apple of His Eye, said the organization also hands out fliers at other events. His belief is that "the Bible is the word of God and homosexuality is a sin in the Bible."

Chad Fox, now president of the nonprofit Pride St. Louis, which sponsors PrideFest, recalls Apple of His Eye members speaking to him at the 2006 event about how they believe homosexuality is a sin.

It's not clear if the park ranger who threatened to arrest the ministry members was aware of the city's ban at the time on leafleting in public parks, Emerson said.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.