Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Letter to Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer Requesting Use of City Hall for Our Banner

October 14, 2014

Mayor Esther Manheimer
City of Asheville
70 Court Plaza, P.O. Box 7148
Asheville, NC 28802


Please consider this letter an application to display a Life Advocates banner on the side of Asheville City Hall on Friday, October 31, 2014, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

The banner is approximately thirty feet long and four feet high.  It is made of a durable vinyl fabric with a black background and white letters that say “STOP ABORTING CHILDREN!” It is the same banner we carried in Asheville’s Sesquicentennial parade some years ago.  Because abortion violently destroys the lives of millions of pre-natal human beings, and is government protected and sponsored, it is the foremost human rights issue of our day.

In an informal session, Asheville City Council recently designated the City Hall as a Limited Public Forum, making the exterior of the building accessible to the public for visual displays. Federal case law is consistently explicit that in these circumstances, government is prohibited from engaging in viewpoint discrimination.

We would like the banner displayed to the same extent and in the same position or higher on the west side of the building that a rainbow flag was displayed on Friday, October 10.  With assistance and supervision of the City, we will ensure that the banner is affixed to the building in such a way as to be safe for the property and pedestrians.

The date for our requested use of the building coincides with a protest on the public sidewalks around Planned Parenthood’s proposed new killing site on 16 McDowell Street, which it expects to open within the next few months.  The protest, which we call “A Presence of Truth and Prayer” will be Saturday, November 1, “All Saints Day” from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon.

Meredith Eugene Hunt

Copies sent to:
City Councilmen and Vice Mayor
City Manager
Asheville Attorney
Parks and Recreation

PO Box 19205   
Asheville, NC 28815   

complexity in smallness (I attached a butterfly photo to the letter.)


M.H............................ said...

From Councilman Cecil Bothwell this morning, via email:

"Mr. Hunt,

"The display of the rainbow flag last week was done in accordance with established City policy concerning marriage equality. Council had voted on and unanimously endorsed the legal change many months ago and display of the rainbow flag was in accordance with that policy and recognition of a very significant victory in both the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts. Given that the display was in accord with established City policy, it is difficult for me to see this as viewpoint discrimination. Unlike your cause, this is settled law.

"If your cause is first officially endorsed by Asheville City Council and then achieves a similar endorsement from the U.S. Supreme Court, I’m sure we would follow through in similar fashion."

M.H............................ said...

And he signed with "-c".

M.H............................ said...

The photo of the wasp is by me. Or, rather "meh", which are my initials.