An appeals court ruled the state of Montana violated a church's First Amendment rights to encourage its members to support traditional marriage.
The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the state's determination that the church was an "incidental political committee" because members promoted and signed petitions supporting traditional marriage, and the pastor also encouraged it.
The complaint against Ferry Road Baptist Church of East Helena was sparked by a complaint from a homosexual activist group, the court ruling noted. The Alliance Defense Fund took up the fight for the church by filing a lawsuit in 2004 after the state issued its ruling against the church.
"Churches shouldn't be penalized for expressing their beliefs. They should never be forced to forfeit their free speech rights just because the government decides to enact unconstitutional laws requ
Tags: 1st Amendment, Free speech is only free if it is liberal free speech
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