Jackson considers new rules for event permits

Apr 23, 2012

Jackson's Town Council is working on new rules to clarify the permitting process for allowing special events on the Town Square.  

Town attorney Audrey Cohen-Davis says the new rules were in the works before a pro-life ministry group proposed putting up a controversial anti-abortion display on the Town Square. The town stopped the group from showing graphic images of fetuses during a Boy Scout Expo on the Town Square, a move which the Wyoming Supreme Court said violated the group’s First Amendment rights.  

While the town lost that case, Cohen-Davis says Jackson still has a say over what happens in public spaces.

"The town and the court agreed ... that the town does have the right, through the use of content-neutral restrictions and subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions and place requirement, to restrict speech in areas reserved for other uses," Cohen-Davis said.

She says other towns, including Laramie, have rules governing what happens on town property.

This year, Jackson approved the pro-life group's request to put up a 10-by-80-foot religious display on the square in May but prohibited the event on one day the Boy Scouts will be using the square for an expo and elk antler auction.