ADF attorney available to media after hearing in church’s lawsuit against Ariz. town

ADF attorneys appealing ruling on Gilbert sign ordinance that discriminates against churches
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WHO:  ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman
WHAT:  Available for media interviews after hearing in Reed v. Town of Gilbert
WHEN:  Wednesday, April 15, immediately following hearing which begins at 9 a.m. PDT
WHERE:  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, James R. Browning Courthouse,  95 7th St., Courtroom 1, San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman will be available for media interviews immediately following oral arguments Wednesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Reed v. Town of Gilbert.  ADF attorneys represent Good News Community Church of Gilbert, Ariz., in the church’s lawsuit over the Phoenix suburb’s flawed sign ordinance.

“Churches shouldn’t be discriminated against by a city’s sign ordinances,” said Cortman.  “The government cannot require churches to abide by stricter rules than it places on non-religious signs.  The Constitution prohibits government officials from singling out religious groups for such discrimination.”

In May 2007, in response to an ADF lawsuit, the town of Gilbert agreed to a preliminary injunction prohibiting it from enforcing its sign code against the church.  The code required that church signs be smaller in size, fewer in number, and displayed for much less time than similar non-religious signs.  The town passed an amended code that continued to discriminate against churches.  ADF attorneys then filed an amended complaint and new motion for preliminary injunction against the revised code.  In September 2008, a judge declined to grant the injunction, and ADF attorneys appealed to the 9th Circuit.

“The government has no right to single out churches for increased bureaucracy or regulations,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued the case in district court.  “We trust that the 9th Circuit will agree.”

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.

www.telladf.org