South Carolina Church Sues Town for Banning Worship Services from Being Held at Local Civic Center

A South Carolina town is being sued by a church for passing an ordinance that bans worship services from being held at a local civic center.

Earlier this year, the Town of Edisto Beach’s city council unanimously passed a ban on churches using its civic center for worship services, citing First Amendment concerns.

Redeemer Fellowship of Edisto Island, a congregation with about 40 members, filed a lawsuit against the town on Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division.

Redeemer Fellowship had been renting a space at the civic center specifically designated for “civic, political, business, social groups, and others” before the ban was instituted in May.

“The town’s amended guidelines permit virtually all community groups to rent the center for all expressive activities, with the sole exception of religious worship services,” read the suit.

“The town’s determinations and amended guidelines violate Redeemer Fellowship’s rights under the Religion and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, the church seeks declaratory and injunctive relief.”

Redeemer Fellowship is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative law firm that has argued and won several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski