Kansas State Fair officials failed to respond to letters asking them to remove
restrictions forcing PETA to shield video footage showing animal slaughter from
fairgoers who pass by its booth, we filed a federal lawsuit to stop the fair
from violating our right to free speech. PETA also submitted a motion asking
the court to block the restrictions imposed on our booth for this year’s fair,
which starts September 7.
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas and Western Missouri is representing PETA for free, along with Kansas City law firm Copilevitz
Canter. As Doug Bonney, legal director for the ACLU of Kansas and Western
Missouri, put it, “I’ve never seen anything like this—this is a classic
content-based restriction on what the speaker can say, which I think is
We’ll keep you posted!
Originally posted August 16:
Turns out that Iowa’s not the only state that objects to the idea of fair visitors learning the ugly truth about how meat is made. After the Kansas State Fair sent a letter insisting that PETA could have a booth only if any pictures or videos “that depict animal slaughter, animal harvest, hide removal, or show or depict live animals being decapitated, dismembered or butchered” be shielded from view unless people specifically choose to view them, our legal team fired back a reply demanding that the decision be reversed because it violates PETA’s constitutional right to free speech.
Here’s the deal: The state has established the fair as a public forum, and the right to free speech requires that there be no content-based censorship in a public forum. Consider, too, that fair officials don’t appear to be making the same demand of other exhibitors, meaning that it’s only PETA’s content that they’re trying to squelch. Plus, fairgoers deserve to know how much the animals who were raised and killed for their cheeseburgers and chili dogs suffered—though I guess that last point isn’t actually a legal issue.
What You Can Do
Looking for an effective, unmistakable way to express your disgust at the way animals are abused on factory farms and in slaughterhouses? Go vegan!
Article source: PETA Files