Pastor loses legal appeal over muting at City Council meeting

Published on October 4, 2022 at 3:20 pm

An appeals court has affirmed a federal judge’s ruling rejecting a lawsuit by a Jacksonville pastor who was stifled while he delivered an invocation at 2019 City Council meeting.

The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the Rev. R.L. Gundy’s complaint that his free-speech rights were violated “must fail,” although not for the reasons a judge in Jacksonville cited last year.

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The new ruling said Gundy, senior pastor at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, couldn’t assert his free-speech rights because an invocation to council members is considered “government speech,” where the free-speech protections Gundy cited don’t apply.

Read the rest of this story at Jacksonville Today news partner The Florida Times-Union.

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