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ADF attorney available to media after hearing in Modesto Christian speech case

Christian man excluded from Modesto public plaza for sharing Gospel
Published On: 10/18/2017

WHO: ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker
WHAT: Available for media interviews after hearing in Borden v. City of Modesto
WHEN: Monday, Nov. 17, immediately following hearing, which begins at 2:30 p.m. PST
WHERE: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Fresno Division, 2500 Tulare St., Courtroom 2, Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. — Alliance Defense Fund Litigation Staff Counsel Heather Gebelin Hacker will be available for media interviews following the continuation of oral arguments in federal court Monday in Borden v. City of Modesto.  ADF attorneys filed suit on behalf of Kevin Borden in July after the city of Modesto restricted him and his friends from peacefully sharing their faith in a public plaza on Saturday evenings.

“Christians shouldn’t be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs,” said Heather Gebelin Hacker.  “Sharing a Christian message is not a valid reason for the city of Modesto to exclude our client from a public area where he clearly should be allowed to exercise his First Amendment rights.  Anyone who cherishes their free speech rights should be concerned when the government seeks to toss those rights aside.”

Borden has been sharing his faith peacefully with others in Tenth Street Plaza, a public square in downtown Modesto.  After Brenden Theatres, a private business located on the plaza, complained about Borden’s speech, the city allowed Brenden to rent the plaza almost every Saturday evening for several months.  Brenden excludes Borden and his associates from the area even though no other events are taking place there and no one else is excluded.

City officials and Brenden security guards claim they can arrest Borden and his friends if they enter the plaza while it is being rented if the theater does not want them there.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family. 


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