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ICC Note: The town of Gilbert, Arizona has been enforcing strict regulations of church signs which prohibit advertisements from going up more than 12 hours prior to the event, which has proven especially problematic for morning services. In 2007, Good News Presbyterian filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming discrimination due to the leniency that other signs, such as political and ideological signs, received. The Supreme Court will soon hear this case, known as Reed v Town of Gilbert, as the church is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom.

By Michael Gryboski

01/06/2015 United States (The Christian Post) – The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington March 5, 2014. U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday appeared to look for a compromise that would enable them to avoid overruling a 26-year-old precedent that made it easier for plaintiffs to negotiate large class action settlements.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a small church’s lawsuit against an Arizona town that bars the congregation from posting roadside signs.

Known as Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Good New Presbyterian Church is being represented by the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom.

ADF Senior Web Writer Marissa Poulson argued Monday that Good News’ roadside signs may seem unimportant, but they represent one of many “building blocks” of freedom.

“By stating the church’s signs are less valuable than political and other speech, the town is ignoring the church’s free speech rights and claiming to have the power to handicap, and even eliminate, speech it deems unimportant,” wrote Poulson.

The town of Gilbert has a sign code that strictly regulates when, how many, and for how long roadside church signs can be on display.

In 2007, Good News Presbyterian, also called Good News Community Church, filed a lawsuit against the town, arguing that the regulations were discriminatory, especially since other signs were given more leniency.

“Gilbert’s code prohibits non-commercial event signs, including the church signs advertising worship services, from going up more than 12 hours beforehand in public rights-of-way,” reported Parker Leavitt of The Republic.

“In contrast, political signs can be placed 60 days before an election. Ideological signs, which are meant to convey a non-commercial message or idea, can be posted in any zoning district and left up indefinitely. This could be a message touting world peace, for example.”


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