Southeastern Legal Foundation mourns the passing of Joey Vento. SLF served as legal counsel to Joey Vento during the successful free speech defense against the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission. SLF issues a statement marking the courage and charity of Joey Vento -
[Joey Vento receiving the 2008 Meese-Noble Honor Roll of Freedom Award from Southeastern Legal Foundation]
We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Joey Vento, owner of the world-famous Geno’s Steaks in the heart of Philadelphia. Courageous, kind, and a deep love for America describe Joey’s passionate defense of liberty and his lifelong charitable support for his community and members of the U.S. military and their families.
We were honored to provide legal counsel and represent Joey in 2006-2007 before the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission, which cited Joey for placement of a small sign in his shop window which read, “This is America. When ordering, please speak English.” The Commission threatened fines and more serious penalties. Joey stood his ground, realizing that the national outcry in defense of free speech placed him the in the position to stand for millions of Americans and our shared constitutional rights.
Joey Vento best exemplifies the sometimes lonely but truly essential courage required to stand up as single person to defend our shared rights. We were proud to stand with Joey. His courage will be remembered and will provide inspiration for future generations of Americans facing the realization that freedom is not free.