NYC Churches Free to Meet in Schools

Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:00 — 1.4MB)

Last week, a federal court struck down a New York City regulation that bans churches from meeting in public school buildings during non-school hours. The ban has been the subject of significant protests and proposed legislation over the last few months.

Under the New York City law, thousands of community groups are permitted to use public school buildings after hours for a wide variety of social, civic, and recreational meetings. But the law specifically bans churches from conducting “religious worship services.” The Court held that the ban on “worship” violates the Constitution because it “discriminates against religion on its face” and “causes [city] officials to become excessively entangled with religion by requiring them to make their own bureaucratic determinations as to what constitutes ‘worship.’”