The Alliance Defending Freedom is appealing a federal judge's
decision to uphold an Ohio city's use of a zoning code to prevent a
Christian school from moving into its new building.
Though Tree of Life
Christian School purchased its new facility some time ago, Upper
Arlington will not allow the building to be used as a
Christian school. Erik Stanley of Alliance Defending Freedom says the city's
zoning codes favor nonreligious businesses and organizations.
"So, for instance, a daycare or other nonprofit use could go
into that building and use it without having to obtain zoning
permission, [but] the Tree of Life is not able to go in to use the
building as a private school," he explains. "That's just
discriminatory and violates the religious land use law, and that's
why we brought the lawsuit in the first place."
The trial judge sided with the city, saying the school should
have applied for rezoning when it purchased the building.
"The decision itself is discriminatory in that it gives
preferential treatment to secular uses that are similar to
Christian schools," Stanley reasons. "If a daycare doesn't have to
go through a rezoning to be in that facility, then why should Tree
of Life Christian School have to go through a rezoning to be in
that facility? That's discriminatory."
The ADF attorney concludes that they have no choice but take the
case before the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.