DoctorE

Turtles all the way down

Warren atheist sues to set up alternative to prayer station at city hall

Posted by doctore0 on July 24, 2014


A Warren atheist filed a federal lawsuit today saying his free speech rights were violated when Warren Mayor Jim Fouts turned down his request to place what he called a “reason station” inside city hall, where a prayer station has existed for years.

Douglas Marshall, a member of Freedom From Religion, made a request with the city in April to put up a table inside the atrium of city hall to promote free thought, use of reason and logic and separation of church and state. Fouts denied the request, saying it would disrupt the prayer station in violation of the constitutional right to freedom of religion.

The lawsuit against Fouts and the city was filed in U.S. District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Freedom From Religion Foundation on behalf of Marshall.

It seeks a preliminary injunction requiring the city and Fouts to allow Marshall to operate his proposed reason station in the atrium. If the court decides the prayer station, which a local church group has operated in the atrium since 2009, represents government speech, it should issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting its continued operation, according to court documents.
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