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EXCLUSIVE: Christian Preachers Settle Harassment Lawsuit Against the City

EXCLUSIVE: Christian Preachers Settle Harassment Lawsuit Against the City

1200 WOAI news has learned that a three year old case involving two street preachers who were arrested for handing out Christian literature in front of a prominent downtown night club which is known for having a significant gay customer base have settled their lawsuit against the city.

 

  Jose Muniz and Todd Leibovitz were harassed by police after they started handing out religious tracts and preaching sermons in front of the Bonham Exchange nightclub in the 411 block of Bonham, just north of downtown.

 

  Attorney Justin Butterfield says the men were 'harassed' by the police, and one of them was even jailed.

 

  He says as part of the settlement of the case, the City of San Antonio recognizes that expressing one's political or religious beliefs on a public sidewalk is protected free speech.

 

  "It is protected by both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions," he said.  "That is perfectly legal, and allowed in San Antonio."

 

  As part of the settlement, the city agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of money to the two men.  Butterfield would also not disclose the settlement.

 

  He says the two men sued the City of San Antonio for harassment.

 

  "When we get settlements like this, it creates knowledge within the community that, hey, these things are allowed," he said.

 

  He says the city will recognize that in the future as part of the settlement.  He says all across the country, there is a growing number of legal cases involving Christians who have been harassed and jailed for expressing their religious believe in a public place.

 

  "There really is a growing education that this sort of conduct is allowed, and is protected by the Constitution."

 

 

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