The NAE filed a brief in a case where a church was prevented from using school facilities for their worship services. Many congregations seek access to various locations for their religious worship services, either on a short-term or long-term basis, when they are just beginning to form, have outgrown their old facilities, or have suffered flood or fire.
The amici brief, which was joined by several religious organizations in New York City, as well as the Christian Legal Society, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Anglican Church in North America and others, supports churches’ free exercise of religion, including the ability to obtain equal access to public spaces.
The brief urges the Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit’s decision in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York, which allowed New York City’s Board of Education to target “religious worship services” for denial of access, even though hundreds of community groups utilize school facilities for a variety of purposes. The decision applies in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. However, if not overturned the decision could set a precedent for other areas of the country.