In a case unrelated to signs, but which relied upon some issues relating to sign law, a church sought to hold Sunday religious services in the community rooms of public housing facilities in Lansing, Michigan, but the public housing commission denied use of the community rooms because the commission determined that the community rooms should not be used for religious activities. The church challenged the commission’s determination under the Free Speech and Equal Protection clauses of the First Amendment. Applying a public forum analysis, the court found that the community rooms were either limited or nonpublic fora, thus requiring the commission’s restrictions to be viewpoint neutral and reasonable in light of the purposes of the forum. Relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in Good News Club v. Milford Central School, the federal court in Michigan found that the commission’s prohibition on religious activities was viewpoint based, as the community rooms could be used for general teaching of morals or character development, but not for religious activities. The court proceeded to issue a preliminary injunction against the commission.
His Healing Hands Church v. Lansing Hous. Comm’n, ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2016 WL 369489 (W.D. Mich., Feb. 1, 2016)