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ACLU files lawsuit claiming HOAs and special districts deny free speech with flag and sign rules

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging neighborhood subdivision rules that prohibit residents from displaying certain flags and signs on their property.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver on behalf of client David Pendery, an Arapahoe County resident in Whispering Pines Metropolitan District #1, according to a news release.

Pendery wants to fly a pride flag at his residence in “solidarity with LGBTQ families like his,” the news release said. He also wants to display a “We believe…” sign encouraging inclusivity and kindness.

“Mr. Pendery has a constitutional right to fly a pride flag and to post a social justice sign on his own property,” Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director, said in the news release.

The metro district’s rules on flag and sign displays in the subdivision “violate the First Amendment and the Colorado Constitution’s guarantee of free expression,” Silverstein said.

The ACLU describes the metro district’s rules as “arbitrary” because some flags and signs are allowed while others are prohibited.“The metro district has complete discretion over whether to grant or deny approval,” the release said. “There are no written guidelines to prevent censorship on the basis of the subject or […]

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