Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Another New York Equal Access Case

The ADF has filed suit against the state of New York over a policy that allows state buildings to be rented by community groups for events but not by religious groups. It is truly incredible to me that New York, of all places, hasn’t figured this stuff out yet. Two of the major precedents on equal access took place in New York, Good News Club and Lamb’s Chapel, both with the same result: if a government facility is made available for outside groups to rent or to use for free, they cannot refuse to give religious groups access to the facilities. This is a no-brainer. It just isn’t a close call. Lamb’s Chapel was a unanimous decision for a reason. When the ADF and the ACLU both agree on an issue, you’re almost sure to lose in court. What’s the point of wasting taxpayer money to defend the indefensible?


  1. #1 valhar2000
    March 30, 2007

    I wonder if it is sending a message? It’s not enough to threaten them with a lawsuit, you have to win it, or else they’d have to give in to everyone. Pretty dumb, I know, but politicians do think a certain way…

  2. #2 Poly
    March 30, 2007

    Someone once said:

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    I guess we still aren’t ready to accept it.

  3. #3 Stuart Coleman
    March 30, 2007

    Is there some other reason they might have been denied? I remember seeing (and I think you talked about it) that Berkeley wouldn’t let the Boy Scouts use their pier (or something like that) because they were discriminatory about who they let into their club. Maybe it’s kind of the same deal here? If not, what are those people thinking?

    I seem to be asking myself that question a lot in response to stuff I see on your blog.

  4. #4 Ed Brayton
    March 30, 2007


    This is an entirely different issue. The Sea Scouts case was about whether the city could deny a generally applicable benefit on the basis of the group’s discrimination. This is an equal access case which is governed by a different set of standards and precedents.

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