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9th Circuit reverses sanctions against church seeking identity of Bash Back activists who interrupted worship
Courthouse News Service: A Michigan church that subpoenaed several anonymous email accounts after LGBT-rights activists interrupted its services should not face a sanction, the 9th Circuit ruled Monday.
OneNewsNow.com: ADF attorney Dale Schowengerdt explains: “The use of violence, threats, and other criminal behavior to advance a political agenda should never be acceptable in America,” he states. “ADF filed suit on behalf of Mount Hope to stop Bash Back! from invading churches, disrupting worship, and terrifying adults and children who attend religious services. “The court’s orders accomplished that and send a message to any other groups contemplating such tactics that they will not succeed.”
Michigan Messenger: The church filed suit against the groups and its members under the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances Act, or the FACE Act. Mt. Hope was represented by the conservative legal group the Alliance Defense Fund.
WILX.com (7/12): Dale Schowengerdt with the Alliance Defense Fund, who represented Mount Hope Church in this case, told WILX the church was pleased with the ruling and expected it would deter similar protests in the future.
WorldNetDaily: The court order – and another one citing ” Bash Back!” and “Bash Back! Lansing,” which failed to respond to court orders requiring contact information – came in a lawsuit brought by the Alliance Defense Fund against the radicals over an attack on Mount Hope Church in Michigan’s Delta Township in 2009.
An anarchist group and its members may no longer invade churches anywhere in the country unless they want to be held in contempt of court and fined $10,000, according to orders issued by a federal judge Monday.
Lansing State Journal: “The order issued this week is the latest development in an ongoing federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the Creyts Road megachurch against a group of gay activists calling themselves Bash Back! Lansing who disrupted a Nov. 8, 2008, service . . . The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund is representing Mount Hope Church. After a number of delays, including time for the protesters to seek a new attorney, the case is expected to reach trial next summer.”
Lansing State Journal: “Attorneys for the megachurch will appear in court in Grand Rapids to try to compel the Lansing City Pulse, a weekly newspaper, to turn over documents connected to its coverage of the Nov. 9, 2008, incident in which members of a group calling itself Bash Back! Lansing unfurled a banner and shouted gay rights slogans during the service . . . In April, the church’s attorneys, provided by the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, subpoenaed Schwartz asking for published and unpublished documents, including e-mails, related to the incident.”
Infoshop News: “On Nov 5, a visible radical queer organizer in Chicago was added to the lengthy list of defendants in the Mt. Hope Infinity lawsuit. On November 9th, 2008 activists from the international queer liberation group, Bash Back! protested the notoriously anti-queer mega-church Mount Hope at its headquarters in Lansing, Michigan . . . In May 2009, the multi-million dollar right-wing non-profit Alliance Defense Fund filed a federal law suit on behalf of Mt. Hope Church under the Freedom of Access to Clinical Entrances Act.”
City Pulse: “It has been more than a year since an Arizona-based Christian legal defense fund sued the ‘radical queer’ Lansing activist group Bash Back! for a 2008 protest at a Delta Township church, but the case is not close to being resolved, and City Pulse has been subpoenaed for records relating to coverage of the protest . . . In April, City Pulse was served with a subpoena by Alliance Defense Fund attorney Dale Schowengerdt for ‘all documents, pictures, video, email, correspondence of any kind, text messages, audio records, or other tangible things in your or City Pulse possession (sic)’ related to the Mount Hope incident.” | Order Imposing Sanctions | Protective Order | ADF News Release of May 13, 2009