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Suit filed over blocking of religious content

By Jim Salter

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Tuesday against a small Missouri town’s public library, claiming it unconstitutionally blocks access to websites related to Wicca and other minority religions.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in St. Louis on behalf of Anaka Hunter, a resident of Salem, a largely Christian community of about 5,000 residents in the Missouri Ozarks. It claims that Hunter was trying to do research at the Salem Public Library but filtering software blocked access to many sites about religions such as Wicca, an earth-based religion, derived from pre-Christian religions and magical practices that promote a peaceful and balanced lifestyle. Hunter was also unable to access sites about Native American Religions.

The suit said some religions were labeled “occult” or even “criminal.”

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