Smithsonian to Pay $50,000 to Kick Pro-Life Students from Museum: 'Absolutely Outrageous'

Smithsonian to Pay $50,000 to Kick Pro-Life Students from Museum: 'Absolutely Outrageous'


A national museum in Washington, D.C. has agreed to pay tourists visiting its facility $50,000 after they were kicked out for wearing pro-life clothing.

The National Air and Space Museum agreed to pay the settlement to cover attorneys' fees, expenses, costs and interest for students at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina, and their parents.

The group of 12 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit after visiting the museum on the day of the March for Life rally on January 20, 2023.

As they toured the museum, they all wore hats that said “Rosary PRO-LIFE.”

According to the American Center for Law and Justice, which represented the plaintiffs, “Museum staff mocked the students, called them profanities, and made comments about the museum being a 'neutral zone' where they were not allowed to make such statements.” “

An employee “eventually forced the students to leave the museum…rubbing their hands in joy as they exited the building.”

Meanwhile, other museum visitors had no problem wearing all sorts of hats, the ACLJ reports.

“It is absolutely outrageous, it is unconstitutional discrimination, and the ACLJ is fighting back,” Jordan Sekulow, attorney and executive director of the ACLJ, wrote at the time.

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The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit accusing the federal museum of violating their rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“This was a clear violation of the First Amendment, not only freedom of speech, but also freedom of religion. The federal government simply cannot prohibit statements that it or its employees disagree with,” said Sekulow.

“Imagine your child being attacked, insulted and thrown out of a museum that other children are allowed to visit just because of their faith,” he added.

The Smithsonian Institution, which oversees the Air and Space Museum and other museums in Washington, signed a consent decree just a month after the lawsuit was filed.

They agreed to “reemphasize to all security officers stationed at all publicly accessible Smithsonian museums and the National Zoological Park that Smithsonian policy does not prohibit visitors from wearing hats or other types of clothing with messages, including religious and political speeches.”

The two parties reached a settlement agreement last week in which the Smithsonian not only agreed to pay $50,000 but also said it would allow the plaintiffs to privately tour the National Air and Space Museum and receive a video apology to listen to museum officials.

“Defendants declare that the Smithsonian Institution conducted a thorough investigation into the events of January 20, 2023,” the settlement states.

“Accordingly, Defendants confirm that Smithsonian officials have identified and spoken with all Office of Protective Services officials known to have been involved in or participated in the alleged events, as well as with Allied Universal Security Services the rights of their officials. Participation in instructing plaintiffs to remove their hats.”

The Smithsonian also agreed “through a mass distribution method to all security officers stationed at all publicly accessible Smithsonian museums and the National Zoological Park, the current Smithsonian policy regarding the wearing of hats or other types of clothing containing messages, including religious ones.” “Messages to repeat.” and political speech.”

In December, the ACLJ reached a settlement in a similar case. Security officials from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) threatened to kick out visitors who were also wearing hostile clothing.

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Source: www2.cbn.com

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