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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Nov 11, 2019

Because Jeremy and Kristy Morris shared the Gospel via their annual Christmas display, their HOA sued them. This legal action amounts to nothing more than unlawful religious discrimination in housing, an injustice that First Liberty has taken on in the fight for our constitutional freedoms. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


Some months ago on the First Liberty Briefing, I introduced you to Jeremy and Kristy Morris.  Located in northern Idaho, the Morrisses have been embroiled in a lawsuit with their homeowners association over their annual Christmas display.

But, they don’t just put up Christmas lights to look at them.  The Morrisses want to bless others with their light display.  And so, they decided to spread a little Christmas cheer by inviting folks onto their yard, sharing the Gospel with them over a cup of hot chocolate and asking for donations for disadvantaged kids in the area. 

But the HOA told them to get rid of the lights and based their disagreement with the display on the Morrisses’ religion.  Jeremy and Kristy sued and convinced a jury that the HOA engaged in unlawful religious discrimination in housing.  But, the judge overruled the jury and entered judgment in favor of the HOA instead.

In October 2019, First Liberty and our volunteer attorneys at Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher appealed the judge’s decision and asked the Ninth Circuit to reinstate the jury’s decision.

As Kristy Morris explained, “I had to go to court because I invited my neighbors for Christmas.  I truly hope the judges on the Ninth Circuit will free us to be able to once again celebrate Christmas and raise money for charity.”

Me too.  No one should have to fight to spread a little Christmas cheer outside their own home.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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