“Jesus” “Ten Commandments” “Pre-Born”
and other signs – no longer “the people’s house”
CHILLING OF FREE SPEECH ENFORCED APRIL 29
FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, May 5, 2009
FOR FURTHER INFO: Contact, Steve Lefemine, dir., Columbia Christians for Life,
www.ChristianLifeandLiberty.net , www.RighttoLifeActofSC.net
(803) 794-6273; PO Box 50358, Columbia, SC 29250
[COLUMBIA] – On Wednesday, April 29, officers with the SC Bureau of Protective Services (State Capitol police) stopped two Christian pro-life ministry leaders, who for years have been lobbying the Republican-majority SC Legislature to pass SC Personhood bills to END abortion in South Carolina, from entering the SC State House with Biblical and Pro-Life signs, as had been allowed for multiple years (digital date-stamped photos going back to 2005 are available).
Johnny Gardner, dir., Voice of the Unborn was even prevented from taking a small baby stroller with two baby dolls, into the Capitol. Steve Lefemine, dir., Columbia Christians for Life was stopped from using two signs in the Capitol, one sign saying, “JESUS Saves, Forgives & Heals” and then the “Ten Commandments” with all 10 listed; and a second sign, with a photo of an 8 Week Pre-Born Baby and then “ABORTION KILLS CHILDREN” on one side, and on the other side, an enlarged House Roll Call budget vote in 2002 that funded abortion, birth control, and sterilization (as the SC House and Senate continue to do each year to this day). Gardner and Lefemine were shown copies of SC Code Sec. 10-11-330 which prohibits disorderly conduct, and also prohibits anyone “to parade, demonstrate or picket within the capitol building.” Notwithstanding this statute, free speech expression in the form of signs has been allowed inside the State House in both the First Floor and Second Floor lobbying areas that are open to the public, for a number of years.
The ban applies to all signs except those displayed at news conferences held in the Capitol.
Gardner and Lefemine have worked in the State House for years attempting to influence the Republican-majority SC Legislature to do their God-given duty and protect pre-birth humans from being murdered in the wombs of their mothers. Despite more than 50 bill co-sponsors in the SC House, and more than a dozen in the SC Senate, the Republican leadership in the SC House and SC Senate is not supporting the legislation. Neither is Republican Governor Mark Sanford. The 11-year-old personhood legislation to END abortion in SC was first introduced in the SC House and SC Senate in 1998 [see www.ChristianLifeandLiberty.net , “RTL Act of SC” page].
Gardner and Lefemine were able to enter the Capitol Building on April 29 after leaving their items behind. Upon investigation, Lefemine learned that a number of parties had agreed to begin enforcement of the sign ban, including the Sergeant at Arms for the Senate, and the Sergeant at Arms for the House, the Field Commander for the Bureau of Protective Services, and others. Noticeably absent from the list of those involved in this decision to chill free speech in what has previously been known as “the people’s house” was the State House Committee chairman, who has scheduled a Tuesday, May 12 meeting in the Blatt Building, Room 318, to address the matter. (Time TBD – est. approx. 2 PM) Comment by the public is planned.
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Please click here for a printable version of this press release.