Supreme Court hears Gilbert church sign case

On Monday, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys presented oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court in the matter of Reed v. Town of Gilbert. The case involves a challenge by Good News Community Church, in Gilbert, Ariz., and Pastor Clyde Reed of the sign codes.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman said after his oral argument in defense of free speech on Monday, “The Supreme Court should ensure that no government in America is allowed to prefer one form of speech over another. No one’s speech is safe if the government is allowed to pick free-speech winners and losers based on the types of speech government officials prefer. The Supreme Court has a long history of ensuring that the government treats all speech in a content-neutral manner. That’s why we trust the court will not allow the town of Gilbert to continue giving preferential treatment to certain messages while marginalizing others.”

According to ADF, the church rents space in temporary locations for its weekly service. It uses small, temporary signs to invite and direct the community to its services. The Town of Gilbert Sign Code imposes strict limits on the size, location, number, and duration of the church’s signs. It does not impose the same restrictions on political, ideological, and homeowners’ association signs. If the church violates the code, Pastor Reed could be fined and possibly jailed.

Gilbert sign ordinance provisions
Gilbert sign ordinance provisions
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  1. I once had the sign police fine me for having a sign to large for the front of my building – it was a mural – hand painted on the top front of that building – it included a ‘desert mural’ with our logo – since the name included the word “Desert” in it – they said the mural depicted this and they fined me $375.00 – the name of the company also contained the word “air” so I told the sign police guy it’s a good thing I pained something on there because if I’d left it blank with all that ‘air’ the fine would have been double what I was charged – he didn’t have a sense of humor – he also didn’t have much common sense. That there even are sign police who’s sole function is to fine vendors with signs they see as ‘out of limits’ – without recourse – bad law.

  2. As a Free Thinking Atheist that does not buy into the “let’s pretend and make believe” rhetoric of religious cult/sect’s I can see that the sign codes are discriminatory and need to be revised so that all signs should have the same codes.

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