Tracy Bays, et al. v. City of Fairborn, et al.
Summary - This case involves the display and dissemination of religious messages in the public square. The Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival in Fairborn, Ohio is held in a public park. The festival is open and free to the public; there are no gates or barriers limiting access to the park, and there is no need for a ticket to enter the park. In 2009, Tracey Bays attended the festival and wore a “sandwich” board and attempted to pass out gospel tracts at the festival. The board was a 2 x 2 sign. The front of the sign read: “Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14:6.” The back of the sign read: “Are you born again of the Holy Spirit?” Festival organizers and law enforcement forced the plaintiffs to hide their signs and stop handing out tracts if they remained in the park during the festival due to a solicitation policy the city adopted which bans most speech and expressive activity during festivals unless the attendee rents space from the festival organizers.
Date – January 13, 2012, 8:30 AM
Court – United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Room 403 - Forth Floor, 540 Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse, 100 East Fifth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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