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Ky. judge orders 'Hell' billboards taken down

By The Associated Press
02.17.10

HODGENVILLE, Ky. — Two highway billboards in central Kentucky with religious messages were ordered down by a judge because they lack state permits.

Senior Judge Geoffrey P. Morris of LaRue Circuit Court gave the owner of the billboards 60 days to remove them. The state Transportation Cabinet filed a complaint in LaRue and Hart counties in 2008 over the billboards along Interstate 65.

The LaRue billboard declares "Hell is real" in bold letters on one side. The Hart County billboard asks, "If you died today where would you spend eternity?"

The Courier-Journal reported that the billboards' owner, Jimmy Harston of Scottsville, said he planned to appeal. He says the state is censoring religious speech.

Morris ruled on Feb. 12 that the state has a right to regulate billboard placement to preserve highway safety and scenic beauty.


Related

Atheist billboard taken down in Calif. city

After receiving 90 complaints, Rancho Cucamonga asked outdoor-advertising company if 'Imagine No Religion' billboard could be removed. 11.24.08

Federal judge strikes down R.I. billboard law

Court finds statute violates Anthony Joseph Vono's free speech because it regulates signs on basis of message, content. 01.29.09

NYC billboard rules don't violate First Amendment, 2nd Circuit says
'The fact that the city has chosen to value some types of commercial speech over others does not make the regulation irrational,' three-judge panel finds. 02.04.10

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