MULVANE, Kan. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit in federal court Wednesday on behalf of a Mulvane citizen who was silenced by the mayor when she tried to express her concerns at a public meeting about the opening of a casino.
“Christians shouldn’t be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The city council seemed to deliberately want to silence any sincere objections to the location of a casino in this small town. Christians have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America.”
On Jan. 16 and March 13, the Mulvane City Council entertained presentations by Harrah’s and MGM/Foxwoods Development Company proposing the construction of a casino in the city. Residents were sent meeting notices which stated that the object was to hear public comments and questions on the proposals. Prior to the meeting, the mayor stated that speakers could not address moral concerns with regard to the presence of a casino in the town.
When Jacque Farnsworth, a resident of Mulvane, attempted to address the city council about her economic concerns about the casino’s impact on her town, she was told by the mayor that her question was out of order. When she inquired as to why she was out of order, the mayor ordered that she be escorted out of the meeting by two armed police officers. Later, when another resident tried to speak against the casino, she was silenced by the mayor as well. Residents in favor of the casino were allowed to present their viewpoints without interruption.
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.