No Break for Hip-Hop

An incident at a recent holiday program in Chula Vista has resulted in a lawsuit against the city. On December 3, recreation department supervisor John Gates allegedly prevented a Christian hip-hop dance group from performing. The plaintiffs -- six minors, some parents, and a dance instructor -- allege the church-sponsored dancers, aged 8 to 12, "were not allowed to perform because of their T-shirts [with crosses and 'Jesus Dancer' logos] and the Christian theme music they intended to dance to."

The lawsuit claims Gates told the dance team they could not perform "because of the whole Christian issue." The dancers -- some of whom reportedly cried when told they wouldn't be allowed onstage -- are alleged to be victims of Chula Vista's "impermissible viewpoint-based discrimination against religious speech in a public forum." The plaintiffs, backed by the American Family Association, request a jury trial and are seeking unspecified damages.

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