Friday, March 29, 2013

Court Says City's Restrictions On Feeding Homeless Violate Religious Freedom

In Big Hart Ministries Assoc., Inc. v. City of Dallas, (ND TX, March 25, 2013), a Texas federal district court held that under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act the criteria in Dallas' Food Establishment Ordinance that must be met by organizations feeding the homeless violate the religious exercise rights of two organizations that feed and minister to the unsheltered homeless population in Dallas. The court concluded that the city had not shown a compelling interest in restricting feeding of the homeless by religious institutions, despite the city's argument that the organizations are thwarting the city's attempt to get the homeless off the streets and into clinics or shelters. Dallas News reports on the decision.