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AUSTIN, Texas, June 23, 2014--(PR Newswire)--

Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Roman Catholic Diocese And Austin Pregnancy Resource Centers In First Amendment Showdown, Says Liberty Institute

Declares City of Austin's 'Forced Speech Ordinance' Unconstitutional

PR Newswire

AUSTIN, Texas, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Liberty Institute gained a huge victory in its fight to protect the free speech and religious liberty rights of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, and Austin area Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs). In the case Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin et al v. City of Austin, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the Austin city ordinance targeting the religious life-affirming groups unconstitutional. Finding that the ordinance was void for vagueness, the Court ruled that the City of Austin may not enforce its unconstitutional ordinances against the Diocese and other crisis pregnancy centers.  To view the judge's final judgment, follow this link: libertyinstitute.org/file/Austin.Final-Judgment.062314.pdf

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In 2012, Liberty Institute challenged the constitutionality of the Austin ordinance that unfairly required PRCs to post a sign at their front entrances with a false and misleading message about the services that they do not provide. However, pro-abortion facilities providing or facilitating abortions were not required to post signs or disclaimers that reference their services or procedures.

"We are very pleased with today's decision," said Jeff Mateer, general counsel for Liberty Institute. "Our clients' First Amendment Rights to free speech and religious exercise and expression have been upheld according to well-established constitutional law and the great work of these pregnancy resource centers to help women make informed decisions will no longer be hindered."

Liberty Institute represents the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin and Catholic Charities of Central Texas, who oversee the Gabriel Project Life Center, as well as the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center and the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center.

Liberty Institute is a national nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, inside our military and throughout the public arena. Liberty's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

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SOURCE Liberty Institute