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US Supreme Court rules Boston can’t exclude Christian flag when allowing other flags


The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday in Shurtleff v. City of Boston, a case in which the city of Boston excluded a Christian flag from its City Hall flagpole program, which allowed a wide variety of other flags to be flown:

“When city officials open a program or activity to ‘all applicants,’ they cannot exclude those wishing to express religious beliefs. The city of Boston’s exclusion of religious expression from an otherwise wide-open public program amounted to discrimination based on viewpoint and is therefore unconstitutional. That said, this case is about much more than displaying a Christian flag at City Hall; this is about the protection of our First Amendment rights, which extend equally to all Americans, without government punishment. We are pleased the Supreme Court has upheld the right of religious citizens to participate in the public square.”

ADF attorneys and lead counsel at Baker & Hostetler, LLP, filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the high court on behalf of Bronx Household of Faith. ADF attorneys represented the inner-city New York City church for more than 20 years in its own legal battle to continue renting an otherwise empty public school building on Sundays for the church’s weekly worship service.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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John Bursch
John Bursch
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Appellate Advocacy
John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom.