HOUSE OF HOPE Volume II, Issue 2
On December 5, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in the 17-year-old case of Bronx Household of Faith vs. Board of Education of the City of New York.
The Bronx Household has met regularly in Public School 15/291 since 2003, while Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have defended the congregation's right to equal access to New York public buildings. Because of the decision by the 2nd Circuit to uphold the city's policy to deny churches equal access,, As we went to press, New York City was poised to evict dozens of churches, even as they still extend access to other community groups.
On January 5, a group of pastors and laypeople peacefully protested the city's policy at the New York City Law Department, kneeling in prayer and singing hymns. Several were arrested, charged with "criminal trespassing." On January 12, another peaceful protest was held, resulting in the arrest of more than 40 pastors.
As of press time, ADF attorneys continue to seek other options on behalf of the Bronx Household of Faith and other affected churches.
FAULT LINES Volume III, Issue 2
Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Matt Bowman recently obtained a copy of a written policy from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City affirming the legal right of all medical staff to choose not to participate in abortions.
The document – written sometime after ADF client Cathy DeCarlo, R.N., was forced against her personal religious convictions to assist in an abortion procedure at Mount Sinai – apparently was drawn up by administrators to forestall further legal action against the hospital.
The new evidence stands in "startling but welcome contrast to the hospital's previous behavior," Bowman says, and "shows that our legal position is undeniable." ADF is still pursuing other legal options in the case.