Attorneys from the Thomas More Society, which protects the civil rights of Christians and conservatives, recently forced the Marathon County library in Wisconsin to rescind its decision to cancel a showing of the pro-life documentary “Blood Money.”
The Society had filed a federal lawsuit to stop the censorship.
Ralph Illick, the library’s director, had cancelled the screening, which was to take place in one of the “public meeting rooms,” because he felt the film’s subject of abortion would “interfere with normal use of our library.”
Executive director and legal counsel for the Thomas More Society Peter Breen believes it’s “outrageous” that a library must be demanded to refrain from censoring.
“The library’s own policy declares that meeting rooms are to be allocated without regard to the beliefs of those using the rooms, but here, the sincerely held religious beliefs. . . that all life is sacred has barred this group from use of these purportedly ‘public’ rooms,” said Breen. “We stand ready to take immediate legal action if the showing of the film is not allowed.”
The letter written to Director Illick cited the library’s own “Bill of Rights,” which guarantees that public meeting rooms are to be made available “on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.”
“We are pleased our client’s right to free speech was vindicated,” Breen said. “It’s disappointing that a federal lawsuit was necessary to prevent a public library from engaging in censorship.”
By the way, the word censorship applies to government institutions, not private citizens or private groups.
- Sources: LifeNews, 03/31/11, and Christian News Wire, 03/25/11.