PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Religious and community outreach organizations are suing the city of Philadelphia over new regulations that prohibit feeding the homeless in outdoor public spaces.
The plaintiffs allege the ban violates their constitutional rights to free exercise of religion and free speech, as well as Pennsylvania's Religious Freedom Protection Act.
The federal lawsuit contends that Mayor Michael Nutter's motivation for the ban was to keep the homeless hidden from visitors.
Nutter has said feeding the homeless in an indoor setting is more dignified and can also provide access to medical and mental health services. His spokesman said the city does not comment on pending litigation.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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