The City of Boston is being sued for prohibiting the flag’s display at its public forum.
The City of Boston regularly allows civic and cultural organizations the freedom to raise their flags on the city hall flagpoles—which it has deemed a public forum—to commemorate important events to those organizations.
However, in 2017, when the group Camp Constitution requested that the Christian flag be raised in commemoration of Constitution Day, the city balked. Now Liberty Counsel is suing the city on the organization’s behalf, charging that officials denied Camp Constitution’s permit application based on “secret, unwritten, and unconstitutional” policies that refuse religious flags.
Liberty Counsel and Camp Constitution, which is a Christian civic organization, are seeking a federal court injunction to force the city to allow the raising of the Christian flag above Boston City Hall for the observance of Constitution Day next month. During oral arguments today, Liberty Counsel’s Assistant Vice President of Legal Affairs Roger Gannam argued the city acted unconstitutionally.
He noted the city’s own documents promise “to accommodate all applicants seeking to take advantage of the City of Boston’s public forums.” In its defense, city attorneys argued their officials only approve of these displays when the city approves the “message” of the applicant.
After the hearing, Gannam said:
“The city’s censoring of Camp Constitution’s Christian Flag is the ultimate insult to the First Amendment and Boston’s rich heritage as a focal point of liberty and free speech at America’s founding. The city’s blatant discrimination against Camp Constitution’s Christian viewpoint is now a matter of record that the city can no longer deny. It should be clear to the court after today’s hearing that Boston’s unconstitutional censorship must be undone.”
The City of Boston has previously allowed the LGBT “Pride” flag, as well as the national flags of communist China and Cuba, to be flown on the city hall flagpoles. By its attorneys’ own admission, this would mean the city’s leaders endorse the “message” of those entities.