April 18 [7:55 EST] -- If Marilyn Manson's alleged pal Satan couldn't help him out, maybe the ACLU can. Responding to an announcement on Tuesday that the band's concert in Richmond, Virginia was put on ice, the American Civil Liberties Union told Reuters on Thursday that they are preparing a lawsuit against the city of Richmond.
Robert Robb, Richmond's city manager, reportedly pulled the plug on the May 10 show on Tuesday after telling the "Washington Post" that the band's performance is "not consistent with our community standards."
As we first reported on Wednesday, the ACLU had been keeping a close eye on the situation in Richmond, and swung into action when the cancellation was announced. Mary Bauer, the legal director of the ACLU of Virginia, told Reuters, "We are preparing. Our expectation at that point is that we are going to have to file a lawsuit... on First Amendment grounds."
The ACLU is arguing that the city of Richmond, which reportedly owns the venue
where the show was scheduled, cannot ban a performer based on lyrical content.
"All of a sudden," Bauer told reporters, "the City Council decided they didn't like the content of the lyrics. You cannot, based upon on the content of lyrics determine who can play in a public forum."
Earlier this week, Robb defended the decision to cancel the show (which had only sold 2,000 of an available 9,000 tickets) by pointing out that a formal contract had never been signed with the band.