Trying to reach WHNT News 19? Our phones are down right now, but you can contact us by email here

City Proposes Changes To ‘Protest’ Ordinance

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- In the wake of heated protests outside a Huntsville abortion clinic, city staff are recommending changes to the current ordinances that cover public assembly.

Rev. James Henderson and his group of pro-life protesters have positioned themselves in front of the Alabama Women's Center in downtown Huntsville for years, but recent clashes with pro-choice supporters have city staff proposing changes to the city ordinance dealing with assembly on public property.

Read The Complete Proposed Ordinance here.

Huntsville currently requires "minor events" like the organized protest by pro-life supporters to obtain a permit to use the public sidewalk. Under the change, those types of gatherings may no longer need to have a permit.

Henderson believes this could open the door to further problems when more than one group wants to use the same space to hold an assembly.

"Why are they fixing something that is currently working fine, we have a permit and have worked with the city police and attorney to make sure the agreement works well for everyone," Henderson told WHNT News 19 Thursday evening prior to addressing council.

Thursday evening was only the first presentation on the changes and council members are expected to vote on the changes during their next council meeting  Henderson says he hopes something can be worked out with the city to keep the ordinance similar to the way it currently is.