Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Court Upholds Refusal To Allow Church To Run Religious Services In City Homeless Shelters

In Caractor v. City of New York Department of Homeless Services, (SD NY, June  14, 2013), a New York federal district court rejected free speech, free exercise and equal protection challenges by the head of the Discovered Being Ministry to New York's refusal to permit him to conduct Christian religious services inside city homeless shelters. The court concluded that homeless shelters are non-public forums and that "DHS’s decision to limit access to external organizations that either assist in providing shelter, aid shelter residents to find permanent housing, or provide services mandated or authorized by law -- a restriction which consequently excludes religious organizations -- is both reasonable and viewpoint
neutral."

1 comment:

Trina said...

I have friends who have been homeless. Independently, they've told me that, though Christian at the time, they sometimes didn't use available services bec. of religious pressure by the providers. This seems a very wise ruling.