Town drops law against church protests

LAKE VIEW, Ill., April 12 (UPI) -- An Illinois village has dropped an ordinance that banned protests outside religious buildings during services because a judge found it unconstitutional.

The law department in Lake View decided to drop the law because of a challenge by a lawyer who was ticketed for picketing outside the Church of Scientology of Illinois headquarters, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The church dealt with protesters by putting a notice in a window saying services were held continuously from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.


The decision by the law department was a result of an exception in the law allowing labor picketing.

"What was unconstitutional was that one type of picketing was being treated differently than another," Jenny Hoyle, a law department spokeswoman, told the Sun-Times Monday. "If unions can do it, why can't anyone else?

The law was challenged by Alex Hageli, a lawyer who is also a member of Harvest Bible Church in Rolling Meadows. When police asked a group of protesters to leave last year, Hageli stood his ground and demanded a ticket.

Hageli said he was notified last week the ticket had been dropped. He returned to the Scientology headquarters Saturday with another protest group.


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