- (Photo: YouTube/TheYoungTurks)
A woman is fighting for the right to keep a "middle finger light display" on her roof in Louisiana. The light display has sparked controversy in the local town as it is in the image of a hand with its middle finger raised, in an apparent rude gesture to the woman's neighbors.
The City of Denham Springs and local police want to force Sarah Childs to remove the offensive light gesture from her roof. However, on Monday she gave testimony to U.S. District Judge James Brady asking for a preliminary injunction to bar her from being forced to take it down, according to the Associated Press.
The judge did not offer a ruling on the day, and the hearing will now continue next week when a decision is expected.
Childs has said that she put up the "middle finger light display" because she believes one of her neighbors stole her dog last year. She protested by erecting the light display last November.
The woman has claimed that complaints have sparked police to threaten her with fines and arrest if she did not take down the offensive lights. However, Childs has refused and she has joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana to sue the city, its mayor and the police.
Defense attorneys have rebutted Childs' arguments and have denied officials threatened her. They want the case to be thrown out for having no merit.
Officials are also arguing that the offensive gesture lights are not protected as freedom of speech under the United States Constitution because the lights have been designed to attack her neighbor, according to AP.
Just weeks ago in mid-December a judge ruled that officials should not interfere with the light display, and any violation of the order would violate Childs' rights to free speech and due process.
Childs has claimed that she has already taken the lights down twice, only to re-erect them again later. She has said she took the lights down when the was threatened with a fine, and again when she was threatened with arrest. However, she has since received backing from the ACLU, and has been buoyed on by December's order in her favor.
Here is a video report of the middle finger light display: