New York Court Grants Injunction, Permits AIDS Day Rally
U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood has granted the AIDS advocacy group Housing Works a request for an injunction, clearing the way for a rally to be held in City Hall Park on Friday in commemoration of World AIDS Day, Newsday reports. The city had denied the group's request on the grounds that the sound decibel level from the assembly would "impede the business being done at City Hall." Wood ruled that the city was "inherently inconsistent" in granting permits and that the city's prohibition "violates" the First Amendment. Of 27 First Amendment cases brought against the city, this was the twenty-third time the city has been found in violation, Chris Dunn, an attorney from the New York Civil Liberties Union who is representing Housing Works, said. The city limits the number of gatherers to 300 in City Hall Park except on occasions of inaugurations, award ceremonies and "ceremonies held in conjunction with a city-sponsored ticker tape parade." Wood noted that the city also allowed sound amplification for various occasions such as ceremonies for national or local heros, visiting dignitaries and athletes, and that business in City Hall closed down at such times. She determined that the city used "impermissible discretion" when determining what ceremonies would be permitted to use sound amplification (Hurtado, Newsday, 11/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.