In the case Shurtleff v. City of Boston, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote on behalf of the court, saying that the city discriminated against the activist, Harold Shurtleff, and his organization Camp Constitution by rejecting his request to raise a flag outside City Hall. On multiple occasions the City of Boston has approved applications for organizations to use one of the three flagpoles, which wave the American, Massachusetts, and Boston flags.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch agreed with the court's decision, saying the city's exclusion of religious expression from an otherwise public program amounted to discrimination.
“When city officials open a program or activity to ‘all applicants,’ they cannot exclude those wishing to express religious beliefs. We are pleased the Supreme Court has upheld the right of religious citizens to participate in the public square."
WBZ NewsRadio reached out to the City of Boston for a comment, to which officials released the following statement:
"We are carefully reviewing the Court's decision and its recognition of city governments' authority to operate similar programs. As we consider next steps, we will ensure that future City of Boston programs are aligned with this decision," a city spokesperson said.