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Policy barring
Florida county agencies from promoting gay pride
challenged

Policy barring
Florida county agencies from promoting gay pride
challenged

A strip club owner in Tampa, Fla., filed a lawsuit against Hillsborough County, alleging that a policy barring county agencies from acknowledging, promoting, or participating in gay pride events is unconstitutional. Joe Redner filed the lawsuit Tuesday. The Hillsborough County commission passed the proposal June 15. The lawsuit says that the policy violates Redner's First Amendment right under the U.S. Constitution to receive information at local libraries. He says the commissioners "imposed a ban on one particular group but not on any other groups" and that their actions constitute a "prior restraint on protected speech" that fails to "further a compelling government interest."

Redner is asking the court to declare the policy unconstitutional, issue an injunction until a trial is scheduled, and require the county to pay court costs. "They should have known they were violating the Constitution," he said. "My goal is to show them they are liable for doing that.... Someone has to call them on it." "We're going to look at it," said Renee Lee, county attorney. "I will be really curious to see how the board's actions have impacted [Redner] more than any other member of the public, because I don't think it does. I want to look at the pleadings and see how he alleged standing to bring" such a case. (AP)

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