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      Chilton County pastor files lawsuit over state law that shut down church camp for sex offenders

      The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit in Montgomery on Wednesday on behalf of Pastor Ricky Martin. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)
      BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama pastor has filed suit claiming a state law that forced him to shut down a church camp for sex offenders violates his constitutional rights. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit in Montgomery on Wednesday on behalf of Pastor Ricky Martin. The lawsuit claims Martin believes it's his Christian duty to help people including sex offenders being released from prison. It says letting the former inmates live behind his church in rural Chilton County was a ministry. The suit claims a law passed this year to shut down the camp violates his religious rights. The law bars convicted sex offenders from living within 300 feet of each other on property in Chilton County. Chilton County officials say the camp posed a threat to public safety.
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