Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School Dist., 508 U.S. 384, 6 (1993)

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Cite as: 508 U. S. 384 (1993)

Opinion of the Court

that "[t]his film does appear to be church related and therefore your request must be refused." App. 84. The second application for permission to use school premises for showing the film series, which described it as a "Family oriented movie—from a Christian perspective," id., at 91, was denied using identical language.

The Church brought suit in the District Court, challenging the denial as a violation of the Freedom of Speech and Assembly Clauses, the Free Exercise Clause, and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As to each cause of action, the Church alleged that the actions were undertaken under color of state law, in violation of 42 U. S. C. 1983. The District Court granted summary judgment for respondents, rejecting all the Church's claims. With respect to the free-speech claim under the First Amendment, the District Court characterized the District's facilities as a "limited public forum." The court noted that the enumerated purposes for which 414 allowed access to school facilities did not include religious worship or instruction, that Rule 7 explicitly proscribes using school facilities for religious purposes, and that the Church had conceded that its showing of the film series would be for religious purposes. 770 F. Supp. 91, 92, 98-99 (EDNY 1991). The District Court stated that once a limited public forum is opened to a particular type of speech, selectively denying access to other activities of the same genre is forbidden. Id., at 99. Noting that the District had not opened its facilities to orga-father. Mrs. Dobson recalls the influences which brought her to a loving God who saw her personal circumstances and heard her cries for help. (40 minutes.)

"6) THE HERITAGE presents Dr. Dobson's powerful closing remarks. Here he speaks clearly and convincingly of our traditional values which, if properly employed and defended, can assure happy, healthy, strengthened homes and family relationships in the years to come. (60 minutes.)" App. 87-88.


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