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Pastor sues to block New Orleans street preaching limits

A street preacher is suing to block New Orleans city officials from enforcing an ordinance that restricts religious or political speech on Bourbon Street after dark.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday by New Orleans pastor Paul Gros claims the city's "aggressive solicitation" ordinance sets unconstitutional limits on free speech. Gros says a police officer threatened him with arrest in May while he was preaching on Bourbon Street with his wife, another pastor and a friend.

Less than a month ago, police arrested several other street preachers on Bourbon Street during a gay pride festival for allegedly violating the ordinance. Gros wasn't among them.

Attorneys for the Center for Religious Expression in Memphis, Tenn., and the Alliance Defending Freedom in Scottsdale, Ariz., filed the suit on behalf of Gros.

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