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NY’s Broome Community College sweeps church off campus

ADF attorneys file suit against school board over policy that allows facility rentals to all but religious groups

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of North Pointe Church against the Broome Community College board of directors and administrators after school officials enforced a policy banning groups that engage in “religious services and observances.”  College officials gave the church two weeks’ notice that it was being forced out of its regularly rented facility by March.

“Churches shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Tim Chandler.  “The courts have long held that public officials cannot say, ‘I’m sorry, but we only rent to non-religious groups here.’  The Constitution prohibits that type of discrimination.”

North Pointe Church had been holding meetings regularly in a rented facility on the Broome Community College campus for several months, but college officials notified the church that it would no longer be able to continue to rent space to the church because of alleged complaints the school received by people who had seen or received advertisements from the church.

The college allows private groups to rent its facilities on a regular basis.  ADF attorneys argue that religious groups have equal access to public services and accommodations under the law and cannot be subject to discrimination based on the fact that the groups hold to a religious viewpoint--especially as paying customers.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.  Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

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Timothy D. Chandler
Timothy D. Chandler
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Church & Ministry Alliance Engagement & Strategic Projects
Timothy D. Chandler serves as senior counsel and vice president of Church & Ministry Alliance engagement & strategic projects with Alliance Defending Freedom.