BRIGHAM CITY -- City Attorney Kirk Morgan defended the city's newly adopted free-speech ordinance at Thursday's city council meeting and took issue with the Standard-Examiner's editorial on Sept. 26.
"The Standard-Examiner missed on all points," he said.
The first message of the editorial inferred the city's ordinance would somehow restrict free speech and spontaneity.
"Nowhere in the ordinance is there any reference to restricting free speech. This ordinance allows for spontaneity," Morgan said.
The purpose of the ordinance is to protect both the people who want to protest as well as other people at the event.
Mayor Dennis Fife pointed out there are no designated "free-speech zones" in the city.
"When the people fill out an application to protest, they will state where they want to protest," he said.
The ordinance is specifically designed for large events.
"This is to allow the city time to find a public place close to the area they want to influence," Morgan said.
He said the editorial inferred that Brigham City is the only city in the state with a free-speech ordinance.
"Free-speech ordinances are all across the country. Brigham City's ordinance is almost word for word the same as Draper's ordinance," Morgan said.
"Free-speech zones started in the very conservative city of San Francisco."
In the 1990s, protesters were restricting public access at the San Francisco airport. Free-speech booths were put in the airport.
"Those booths are still there today," Morgan said.
Morgan said the editorial challenged the constitutionality of Brigham City's ordinance.
"The constitutionality of free-speech ordinances has been upheld by the 9th Circuit Court, the court the governs California, Oregon and Washington," he said.
The court ruled there are times when free speech needs to be restricted.
"You cannot yell fire in a crowded building," Morgan said, "and you cannot have a parade down Main Street in the middle of the day without a permit."