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Liberty Counsel filed the suit last November after its request to use a community room for a September 2012 presentation was denied. The group said it planned to host a presentation on the United States' founding era and founding fathers, told from a religious perspective.
Prior to the suit, the village's meeting room policy did not allow the use of the rooms for religious presentation. “We’re not allowed to open up our location to commercial or religious [groups],” village employee DeAnn Snodgrass told Patch last fall.
Last week, Liberty Counsel announced it had reached a settlement with the village. As part of the agreement, according to court documents, the village would amend its meeting room policy and agree to pay the organization's legal fees. Horatio Mihet, a spokesman for Liberty Counsel, declined to say how much the fees total, saying "the amount is confidential under the parties' settlement agreement."
Plainfield Mayor Mike Collins did not immediately return a call from Patch regarding the settlement on Wednesday.
A revised meeting room policy is now posted on the village website, stating, "The Village does not prohibit an applicant from presenting civic, cultural, educational or informational programs from a religious viewpoint."
According to its website, Liberty Counsel's goal is to "restore the culture by advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the family.”
“The Village expressly discriminated against religious speech and viewpoints,” Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement posted to the organization's website. “Today’s settlement should be a wake-up call to communities and towns across America that religious viewpoint discrimination is unconstitutional.”
- Christian Group Seeks Plainfield Meeting Room Policy Change
- Religious Activist Group Files Suit Against Plainfield