ACLU Defends Olathe Man’s Right to Declare “Smile God Loves You”

October 30, 2015 9:45 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Earlier today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas contacted the City of Olathe to defend the First Amendment rights of Olathe man Dustin Strouse. The ACLU’s letter notified the City of Olathe that it was violating Mr. Strouse’s right to free speech and freedom of religion.

Every day, Mr. Strouse stands on the public sidewalk near the intersection of 119th Street and Black Bob Road in Olathe. While standing there, he carries signs that read “Smile God Loves You” and “Junk It All But Jesus.” Last week, Mr. Strouse was approached by a city employee and told that if he continued to carry the signs in Olathe, he would be ticketed or even arrested.

The ACLU intervened on Mr. Strouse’s behalf, defending his right to carry signs reading “Smile God Loves You,” “Junk It All But Jesus,” or any other wording protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

“It has long been established that the First Amendment protects the right of the people to carry signs places like public sidewalks,” said ACLU of Kansas Legal Director Doug Bonney. “The religious message on Dustin Strouse’s signs is clearly protected by the First Amendment. We ask that the City of Olathe make it clear that his sign-carrying activities do not violate city code, and ensure that other residents will not be denied their rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, please contact Micah Kubic at (816) 994-3314 or visit our website at

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.