by Reverend Katherine Marple
I see…new rules? According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, after 8 successful, peaceful vigils since 2011, 40 Days for Life can’t have signs? And even if this was a statute for some years, why now? Even at Planned Parenthood, where 40 Days Fayetteville holds their vigil, said “the issue was between the state and the protesters, and that her group had no comment.”
The Highway Department has received a faxed letter of protest from a legal firm representing the group, a spokesman confirmed Thursday. The letter alleges that the state is violating the group’s First Amendment rights to free speech.
A letter from the Thomas More Society, who represents the national40 Days vigils, said:“We respectfully maintain that her directives —attempting to prohibit First Amendment activity on public property, including sidewalks along a state highway — were overly broad and, if enforced, they would be a clear violation of our client’s First Amendment rights.”