Religious rights group sues L.A. over Messianic Jews’ banner

LOS ANGELES – A Virginia-based religious rights group has filed a federal lawsuit against the city for its refusal to permit the display of a banner with the phrase “Jews who believe in Jesus.”

The American Center for Law and Justice maintains the city violated the constitutionally protected rights of free speech and liberty.

“The City permits a wide variety of religious and secular banners to be displayed publicly on streets. The decision to censor this banner was made strictly on the basis of the content of the banner,” senior counsel Stuart J. Roth said in a statement Monday.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on behalf of Michael Brown, Pastor of the Messianic Jewish group Adat Y’shua Ha Adon. It calls for an injunction that would prevent the city from baring the banner.

According to the center, Brown hung similar banners for three consecutive years on city streets, but this year the city rejected his request.

The banner promoted an event called, “Jews who believe in Jesus High Holy Days Services.”

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo had not seen the suit and declined to comment, said his aid Frank Mateljan Monday.

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