Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Boston Cannot Ban Christian Flag in Front of City Hall

The US Supreme Court says the city of Boston violated a Christian organization's right to free speech by refusing to fly its flag in front of City Hall, when numerous other flags were accepted. 

The nine justices of the US Supreme Court on Monday voted unanimously in favor of a Christian organization, Camp Constitution, which had been denied permission by the City of Boston to place a flag in front of City Hall.

As explained Christian headlines, the City of Boston has a program that allows private groups to fly their flags in front of this public building.

While "hundreds of requests to raise dozens of different flags" have been accepted by the city, it has refused a request from a Christian group, Camp Constitution, saying it would violate the First Amendment.

Camp Constitution then sued but lost in the District Court and the Court of Appeal. On Monday, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the city of Boston's decision violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

As a reminder, the first amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from passing laws that "regulate the establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise of religion, or restrict freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom of peaceful assembly ".

Judge Stephen Breyer, who wrote the court opinion, says that since "the city has not refused a single flag request" until that of Harold Shurtleff of Camp Constitution, a refusal which is therefore based on " a religious point of view," she "violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment."

Liberty Counsel founder and president Mat Staver, who represented Camp Constitution in the case, said the court's unanimous decision "marks a victory for private speech in a public forum."

“This case is so much more important than a flag. Boston openly discriminated against the viewpoint it opposes when it opened up the possibility of erecting a flag to all candidates and then excluded Christians,” he continued.

A little over a month ago, the High Court had already ruled in favor of religious freedom by allowing a Texas death row inmate to receive prayer during his execution.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Shutterstock / Kit Leong

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