published Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Evangelist loses challenge of TN city's noise ordinance

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — A judge has ruled against a Kentucky Christian evangelist who challenged a Tennessee city's noise ordinance.

John McGlone was ticketed for using a microphone and amplifier to spread his message at the Franklin Main Street Festival in 2012. A city court found last year that he must pay $75 for disturbing the peace.

The Tennessean reports Williamson County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Easter ruled late last month that officers' actions did not infringe on McGlone's rights. He noted that officers did not stop McGlone, who preaches with PinPoint Evangelism, based in the southern Kentucky community of Breeding in Adair County, from evangelizing.

The city revised its noise regulations in 2011 to allow sound amplification at special events only by the event organizer.

"It is unreasonable to expect government officials charged with ensuring the smooth and safe execution of a large outdoor public gathering to repeatedly haggle with an unruly noisemaker over how loud is too loud," Easter said in his ruling. "The Court finds that the City's action in prohibiting the use of sound amplification in the Festival area was not substantially broader than necessary to achieve its significant governmental interest in protecting the Festival vendors and attendees from unreasonable noise."

McGlone's attorney, Keith Jordan, said he hadn't yet discussed the possibility of an appeal with his client.

"An appeal would be an expensive proposition," Jordan said.

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