By Guest Nicole
How long would you wait to meet a person you have been knowing/dating on line?
By Guest Nicole
Watchtower Bible Tract Society of New York, Inc. v. Municipality of Ponce, (D PR, July 6, 2016), is the latest installment in a 12-year battle by Jehovah's Witnesses to gain access to gated communities in Puerto Rico in order to proselytize door-to-door. In prior decisions, the federal courts have ordered communities to grant access to Jehovah's Witnesses. However in response certain gated communities argued that they are not subject to the court's orders because their roads and streets are completely private. In this 50-page opinion, a Puerto Rico federal district court ruled that the streets within Estancias del Golf Club in the Municipality of Ponce are subject to the court's earlier orders The court said in part:
Up to 2012, the residents of EGC went above and beyond to complete the last steps of the transfer of their streets to the Municipality. Suddenly, they took a one hundred eighty degree turn and demanded their streets now be private, when it became convenient to them. This Court will not allow Plaintiffs’ First Amendment protected activity to be held hostage by the whim of residents associations within gated communities....
It has become quite common for urbanizations and some of their residents to believe it is unacceptable to have non-residents walk the streets within their gated communities. This constitutes a discriminatory pattern that our Constitution forbids.... Community gates in Puerto Rico narrow the concept of community and of individual through decisions about group social worth and social threat, about who is redeemable and who is dispensable, about who is “good” and allowable, and about who is “bad” and made to “go away.”
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