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Bride-to-be fighting for her right to party

Posted On: May. 11, 2021 10:37 AM CST


A political science doctorate student upset that COVID-19 restrictions in Washington, D.C., prohibit dancing at her upcoming wedding is suing Mayor Muriel Bowser over the ordeal that includes references to the 1974 film “Footloose” in her 14-page lawsuit.

“The District of Columbia allows dancing in strip clubs, in Zumba and dance-studio classes, and in programs sponsored by the government’s Department of Parks and Recreation,” the suit, filed on Monday in a federal court in Washington, contends. “But as of May 1, 2021, as if to create an imitation of the 1984 movie Footloose, the District of Columbia has outlawed dancing at weddings. Margaret Appleby sues to end this irrational and unscientific state of affairs.”

Plaintiff Margaret Appleby and her fiancée are both vaccinated and had planned on masked dancing during their June 6 wedding. Her suit claims the ban on dancing violates their First Amendment rights, quoting a book on marriage that states wedding dancing is “one of the most exquisite forms” of the “expressive dimension of the wedding celebration.” “For many couples, wedding dancing is an integral aspect of adhering to their faith and religion,” the suit states.

She is asking the court to declare “that, on its face and as-applied, the complete ban on masked, socially distanced dancing at wedding is a violation of Appleby’s First Amendment rights” and is asking for the city to cover legal costs associated with proceedings.