Wheaton College students sue city, arguing Millennium Park rules violate free speech

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Four Wheaton College students have filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago, saying that rules preventing them preaching in Millennium Park violate their First Amendment rights.

"Although an outdoor park is the quintessential public forum, the City's Rules purportedly transform the outdoor public park into a novel spatial concept with various "rooms" that prohibit freedom of speech," the lawsuit says.

Attorneys for the four students say Millennium Park's rules require visitors to secure permits to discuss religion and can only do so in one corner of the park.

"We desire to exercise our constitutional right to free speech through sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For the sake of every citizen who desires to make use of the rights our forefathers bled for, we pray that the City of Chicago amends their unconstitutional code," plaintiff Matt Swart, sophomore at Wheaton College, said.
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