Saturday, October 08, 2016

No Religious Exemption To Immunization Requirements For Merely Moral Objections

In Watkins-El v. Department of Education, (ED NY, Oct. 6, 2016), a New York federal district court refused to grant a preliminary injunction, upholding a New York school's denial of a religious exemption from immunization requirements for plaintiff's children. An exemption is available only for "genuine and sincere religious beliefs...." The court said in part:
Although plaintiff asserts that his religion is "Islamism" and that he is a Moor, he does not claim that the tenets of Islamism or Moorish culture prohibit vaccinations.... Instead, Plaintiff bases his opposition on the assertion that these vaccines contain "monkey cells, pork derivatives, and aborted human fetuses," which Plaintiff's religion dictates he cannot consume.... Plaintiff's opposition to these substances may be genuine and sincere, but he has not demonstrated that it stems from a religious, rather than simply moral, belief.... Furthermore, Plaintiff presents no evidence that these vaccines in fact contain the substances to which he objects.