Everyone likes to get out in public this time of the year, and that includes protesters, picketers and petitioners on the street and in city parks.
Read this week's Rights Review to hear more about how you can participate in our work defending the First Amendment.
Speak up for Free Speech
If you're reading this, you probably care as deeply about free speech and our First Amendment rights as we do.
That's why when we heard some complaints about how local cities were treating people collecting petition signatures, we wanted to ensure that everyone's right to be heard is being respected.
Do you have any questions about your right to protest, picket and petition here in Michigan? Share your questions and stories over on our Facebook page.
Is Saugatuck a No-Speech Zone for Protesters?
Just as we were in talks with officials from Genesee County Parks about how to change their unconstitutional petitioning restrictions, we received another report from across the state.
Out in Saugatuck, activists collecting signatures to recall Governor Snyder called to report that they'd been told that they couldn't approach or speak to pedestrians on city sidewalks. That's just not how the First Amendment works.
The city manager for Saugatuck insists that the city respects everyone's right to be heard. If so, says our West Michigan Staff Attorney Miriam Aukerman, "we’re pleased to know Saugatuck is open to petitioners,” (via the Holland Sentinel, Grand Rapids Press).
White House Endorses Respect for Marriage Act
We're still waiting and working towards marriage equality here in Michigan, but the momentum is building nationwide. New York is the lastest state to pass legislation legally recognizing same-sex marriages.
Over on the national ACLU Blog of Rights, one of the ACLU's own staff writes about his own experience: "My marriage...was the happiest day of my life, even though our marriage is not recognized by the federal government. Yet," (via the Blog of Rights).