Panhandling Carries a Message of Poverty, Homelessness

Ordinance Violates Free Speech

Panhandling Carries a Message of Poverty, HomelessnessA federal court has ruled that a city ordinance that would have limited panhandling in Grand Junction, Colo., is unconstitutional. On October 2, 2015, the Court sided with the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the city last year on the grounds that the ordinance violated the First Amendment right to free speech.

“This Court believes that panhandling carries a message. Often, a request for money conveys conditions of poverty, homelessness, and unemployment, as well as a lack of access to medical care, reentry services for persons convicted of crimes, and mental health support for veterans. The City’s attempt to regulate this message is an attempt to restrain the expression of conditions of poverty to other citizens.”

Said Judge Christine Arguello of the Grand Junction court decision.

Click here for coverage from The Denver Post.

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