An Ohio county public library has closed its meeting rooms to the public rather than allow them to be used by a Christian group.
George and Cathy Vandergriff wanted to host a Crown Financial Ministries "Financial Freedom" workshop in a public meeting room at the Clermont County, Ohio, public library. Tim Chandler, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), says the couple was told that, because the class would be quoting from the Bible, they could not hold it at the library.
"The Supreme Court said, more than 25 years ago, that once you've opened up meeting space, you can't exclude anyone just because they're engaging in religious speech. And, here we are, we're still fighting this battle," Chandler contends.
ADF filed suit against the library on the Vandergriff's behalf. In the overwhelming majority of cases of this type, the government entity will back down after only a letter from attorneys threatening to sue. If not, they almost always give in when the suit is actually filed, which is why the Clermont Library's reaction shocked the ADF attorney.
"The library, in response to the lawsuit, has decided to close the meeting rooms and not allow anybody in the public to use them. So, this is the length that they're going to exclude Christians from being able to use their meeting space," Chandler explains.
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