Friday, June 3, 2011

Court Rules NY Public Schools Can Ban Churches From Holding Worship Services In Their Facilities

By Nathan Black | Christian Post Reporter

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that New York City public schools can prohibit churches from using the facilities for worship services.

The Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit said the decision does not constitute viewpoint discrimination because it does not seek to exclude religious expression but rather excludes a type of activity – worship services.

"The exclusion of religious worship services is a reasonable content-based restriction," the appeals court said in its opinion.

It's been a long battle for Bronx Household of Faith. The church has been facing hurdles since 1994, when its application to rent a public school building for Sunday services was rejected by the New York City Board of Education.

Ever since then, the church has been in and out of court.

Thursday's decision reverses a lower court ruling that had blocked the city from enforcing a rule that bans outside groups from using school premises for religious services.

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