The Passion Movie - religious identity check at box office
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Wed Mar 3 16:15:28 PST 2004
Very interesting. The cases that I know of on this subject are In
re Minoo Southgate v. United African Movement, 1997 WL 1051933 (N.Y. Comm'n
on Human Rts.) (limiting, despite a First Amendment objection, the UAM's
right to let only nonwhites into lectures that they conduct); City of
Cleveland v. Nation of Islam, 922 F.Supp. 56 (N.D. Ohio 1995) (holding that
the Nation of Islam had a First Amendment right to hold a men-only event,
even in a City-owned arena that the Nation had rented); Donaldson v.
Farrakhan, 436 Mass. 94 (Mass. 2002) (likewise, though as to event on
See also NAACP v. Thompson, 648 F.Supp. 195 (D. Md. 1986) (holding
that the county was *constitutionally barred* from allowing the KKK to run a
whites-only program, even on private property); Invisible Empire of the
Knights of the KKK v. Mayor, 700 F.Supp. 281 (D. Md. 1988) (holding that the
KKK was entitled to exclude blacks and Jews from marching in its parade
conducted on public streets, though the KKK wasn't trying to exclude blacks
and Jews from the *audience*). Thompson strikes me as singularly badly
reasoned in its state action analysis.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Virginia E Hench [mailto:hench at hawaii.edu]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 3:33 PM
> To: Ilya Somin
> Cc: Jonathan Miller; Volokh, Eugene; 'conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu'
> Subject: The Passion Movie - religious identity check at box office
> Hello all -
> I received a phone call yesterday from a recent law grad. who is
> finishing up her Ph.D. in history. She went to see the Passion
> yesterday to see what all the fuss was about -- the movie was playing
> at a large multiplex here in Honolulu. As the box office, the ticket
> seller asked her "Are you Christian?"
> She was surprised but answered that she is Catholic. The
> ticket seller
> then explained that the reason for the question was that the
> showing was "for Christians only" and that there would be
> prayer during
> the showing.
> She went ahead and entered, and reported that indeed, there
> was prayer
> during the showing.
> Just to clarify - this was not a case in which some group bought out
> the house for a private showing - as far as I or the recent
> grad could
> determine, it was simply a public showing, but for
> "Christians only." The student notified the state Civil
> Rights commission and the ACLU.
> I told her I would let the list know. Any comments?
> Virginia Hench
> Assoc. Professor
> U of Hawai`i -- Law
> 2515 Dole Street
> Honolulu HI 96822
> hench at hawaii.edu
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