Thursday, December 11, 2008

Will the First Amendment and Free Speech Rights be Crushed at the Obama Presidential Inauguration

Will the First Amendment and Free Speech Rights be Crushed at the Obama Presidential Inauguration

Pro-life activists are troubled that their First Amendment rights will be denied during the Presidential Inauguration this January.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- At a December 9th meeting with activist leaders, government officials could not guarantee or assure that planned pro-life demonstrations would be allowed to take place.

Activists to consider a federal lawsuit if free speech rights are denied.

As part of "The Birmingham Letter Project," pro-life groups have planned a series of demonstrations, vigils and rallies surrounding the Inauguration.

(Go to for more information.)

The first demonstration under question is a display along the Inaugural Parade route with pictures showing the development of child from conception until birth.

(Click here to see the pictures --

This display is in direct response to then Senator Obama stating he did know when life began and that kind of information was "above his pay grade."

After obtaining a permit from the National Park Service to conduct this demonstration at the Inauguration, the Christian Defense Coalition was told by Park Service officials that "they would do their best" to see the display took place but law enforcement officials could not guarantee it.

The next demonstration concerns leaving pro-life messages and pictures with sidewalk chalk in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Ave. on Saturday, January 24.

(Click here to see a letter sent to law enforcement officials by the American Center for Law and Justice about the planned display.)

Government officials told the activists that it has not been decided if that demonstration would be allowed to take place.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,

"Pro-life activists are very troubled and concerned that their First Amendment and free speech rights will be denied and trampled during the Obama Presidential Inauguration. After meeting with government officials on Tuesday, December 9th, we were told that it had not been decided if our sidewalk chalk display at the White House would be allowed to take place.

"Also, after securing a permit to have a pro-life display along the Inaugural Parade route, we were told by law enforcement officials that they could not guarantee our demonstration could take place.

"A Presidential Inauguration should be a time to celebrate and honor the First Amendment and free speech rights not crush them. It is our hope and prayer that federal law enforcement officials and the Presidential Inaugural Committee will honor the Constitution and the First Amendment and allow these peaceful demonstrations to take place. Censorship should not be a part of the new Obama Administration.

"We are prepared to seek a federal lawsuit to ensure free speech rights are protected, not just for us, but for all Americans who step into the public square."

For more information or interviews contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 540.538.4741