The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, has denied a pro-life organization the right advertise its services on public buses. Now city officials face the potential of having their decision appealed to a higher court.
Jonathan Scruggs, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a civil rights legal advocacy group, said that Women's Health Link is unsure whether to appeal its case after the federal judge granted summary judgment to Citilink, Fort Wayne’s public transportation service.
Federal Distrct Court Judge Robert L. Miller ruled that Citilink is legally allowed to have a policy that prohibits controversial ads that cover political, religious or moral issues.
But Scruggs said that the ADF argued in court that Citilink's decision to prohibit the ads, based on the Women’s Health Link’s beliefs, restricts free speech and discriminates against the organization’s view points. He added that the court’s ruling implied that Women’s Health Link had no First Amendment provisions that would allow them to be included in the bus advertising.
"Of course, we disagree with that argument quite vociferously," he told OneNewsNow.
“The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all people, regardless of their political or religious beliefs,” Scruggs said in a statement.
Scruggs suggested that city officials explicitly singled out Women’s Health Link for censorship while running “nearly identical ads” from other non-profits like the United Way.
“Government has a responsibility to ensure that all organizations benefit from community advertising,” Scruggs continued. “For that reason, we will consult with our client regarding appeal.”