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NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Nine preachers who were arrested after they allegedly yelled slurs during a gay pride festival plan to sue the city over an ordinance that bans "aggressive solicitation" in the city's storied French Quarter. By Katherine Fretland.

2 Comments

  1. The issue at hand is whether the ordinance is overreaching in its effort to ensure public safety. A reading of the ordinance along with familiarity of the French Quarter streets and traffic patterns will convince first amendment advocates and indeed most level headed citizens that the statute is overbroad leaning heavily toward protection and enhancement of commercial interests at the expense of individual constitutional freedoms. Provisions such as a the sundown curfew that limits access to the public to the small percentage of daytime visitors in a markedly night life venue as well as measurement restrictions from intersections, stores and liquor licensed establishments that taken together cleverly and effectively leave barely any legal space left to stand do not hold up to the narrow time, place and manner constrictions delineated by precedent Supreme Court rulings. In the case of New Orleans, ulterior motives appear to be at work. The disingenuousness of the ordinance’s creators and enforcers becomes evident upon witnessing the continued “aggressive” harassment of police officers citing and arresting those who are peacefully pursuing their expressions completely within the harsh prohibitions of the new ordinance. Safety, it appears, is less the agenda than prejudicial purging of non $tourist friendly elements. Thus this dangerous ordinance must be amended at once, and having been so, enforced honorably.