It looks to me as if either the City of Rehoboth Beach, Delware, or the City Manager himself committed a serious overreach of authority.
-From The Washington Times:
"A church pastor in Delaware plans to conduct an Independence Day service “in defiance of tyranny” on Rehoboth Beach after the city denied him a permit to do so.
Upon asking in writing for a permit to hold a beach service in Rehoboth, the pastor, Robert Dekker of New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes, Del., received this reply from the city manager:
“I am so sorry to inform you that I cannot grant your request to have church services on the public beach in Rehoboth. I cannot mix Church and State. I trust you understand. Wishing you the very best.”
In response, Mr. Dekker says he will preach a sermon at the beach on July 4 at 9:30 a.m., titled “Line in the Sand,” in defiance of tyranny, a flier for the event reads.
“Regardless of your faith, all people should be highly concerned over this civil rights violation,” New Covenant Presbyterian Church said in a statement."
I like the choice of "Line in the sand" for Pastor Dekker's bold move, it works perfectly well, both for forcing the city to act or to allow the service and due to the fact that the service will be held at the beach.
I don't know for certain what what was behind this refusal to allow a church service on public property. I am not aware of any court ruling that allows public officials to ban religious groups from public assemblies, but I do have a suspicion for a motive:
".......Those coming to Rehoboth for the first time will find that the gayest block in town is Baltimore Avenue. There you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner; do your shopping; and go to happy hour and late-night dancing all on the same block, with nearly all the businesses owned and operated by members of the LGBT community. You can stop by CAMP, the Rehoboth LGBT Community Center, and get all the information you need for a great weekend or the whole summer....."