Pastor Sues Alabama for Restrictive New Law That Bars Providing Sex Offenders from Transitional Housing on His Church Property
Date:  04-13-2016

His was the only county and only program in Alabama to which the new law applied
On March 27, 2015 Reentry Central posted the article “Should Those on a Sex Offender Registry Be Banned from Church?” The article was about Sheriff Danny Milsap of Graham County, North Carolina and his decision to bar anyone convicted of a sex offense from attending church in his county. Milsap’s decision stirred up a lot of controversy with both sides of the issue weighing in, and with the ACLU looking at the legality of Milsap’s edict.

Throughout the country people convicted of a sex offense are subjected to varying laws as to where they can work, live, congregate and, as in the case above, worship.

Pastor Ricky Martin of Clanton, Alabama filed a lawsuit over a new Alabama law that applies only to his county and his ministry. For a few years, Pastor Martin, who ministered to prisoners, operated a transitional housing program for people leaving prison who were convicted of a sex crime. All was well until an Alabama House Representative passed a law that would affect just Pastor Martin’s county and his ministry. In Alabama a person convicted of a sex crime cannot be released from prison, even if they have maxed out their sentence, if he or she does not have a place to live. Recently a federal judge ruled Pastor Martin could move on with his lawsuit against Alabama based on religious liberty. Read more