Proposed Sale of Manti Street Raises Significant First Amendment Concerns

Affiliate: ACLU of Utah
August 25, 2010 12:00 am

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After receiving numerous complaints regarding the proposed sale of a Manti city street to the LDS Church, the ACLU of Utah on August 18 sent a letter to the Manti City Council, which was set to make a decision at their meeting that night. The street has traditionally been used as a public thoroughfare and public forum for people of all religious and political persuasions, particularly during the annual week-long Mormon Miracle Pageant held in Manti. The ACLU letter discussed the important First Amendment rights that would be threatened if the street were to be sold to a private entity, and the lack of public knowledge or involvement prior to the city council meeting. The ACLU followed up on August 20 with a public information (GRAMA) request asking to review documents associated with the proposed sale.

ACLU of Utah Legal Director Darcy Goddard stated, “Citizens of Manti were justifiably concerned that such an important decision, with such serious potential constitutional ramifications, might be made with so little public discussion. We have offered to meet with the City, and are eager to learn and make available to the public additional details about the proposed sale.”

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