Church Says Fort Macon Tried To Block Free Speech

A church group says it has won a free speech dispute with the North Carolina park system.

A news release says members of a Wilson church were prevented from sharing their religious beliefs with other visitors at Fort Macon State Park.

The Grace Baptist Church members say a park ranger told them they needed a permit and would be cited if they continued.

The Wilson group says it went to Fort Macon to play group games, swim in the ocean and picnic.

Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, took up their cause saying the park system's rule violated the church member's freedom of speech.

A day before an injunction hearing, Liberty says the state signed a settlement agreement, stating that the park rules will not be applied to the church, that the park system will adopt new rules that are constitutional and they will pay attorney fees and costs.

The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation had no comment on the settlement.

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