Fighting a 'heckler's veto' for the right to meet

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Bible study groupThe spokesman for a legal organization is pleased that a California judge didn't allow a homeowners association to escape from allegations that it unlawfully shut down Bible studies and a worship service.

Pacific Justice Institute is representing four religious groups at retirement community Solera at Kern Canyon in Bakersfield, where complaints from an atheist convinced the HOA to shut down the religious events that were held in the community's clubhouse. 

PJI attorney Brad Dacus says one of the Bible studies, a men's group, had been meeting for almost 10 years without complaint. 

“And everything was going great,” Dacus says. “They're reaching out to people who couldn't go to church otherwise because they were disabled or they couldn't drive.”

The decision to halt the religious activities was announced last year, just before Thanksgiving, and one of the attendees filed suit in December. That action resulted in the HOA reluctantly allowing the groups to meet. 

Despite the HOA's reversal, PJI joined the lawsuit in January and announced then it was seeking "full injunctive relief" for the senior citizens involved.

Dacus, Brad (PJI)Dacus tells OneNewsNow the legal case moved foward May 18 after a Kern County Superior Court judge denied four motions from the HOA, the board of directors, and a general manager seeking to stike punitive damages.

“The judge has decided that this is indeed a relevant case,” says Dacus, “and that there are real material issues here dealing with religious discrimination against these residents who want to be able to meet.”  

Dacus says the hope is that the senior citizens will be able to claim a legal victory but also send a message that Christian believers cannot be treated like second-class citizens. 

“Atheists have a right to believe what they believe," says Dacus, "but they should not have the ability to have a heckler's veto to silence everyone else."

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Who do you believe when you hear them talk about the Republican tax reform bill?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Trump: I'm not considering firing special counsel Mueller
Putin thanks Trump for CIA tip on terrorist bombings
McCain returning home to Ariz., will likely miss tax vote
Flames threaten SoCal coastal communities as firefighters mour
GOP betting that its fix for U.S. economy will defy warnings
Thousands disappear as China polices thought
Suicide bombers attack church in Pakistan, killing 8

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Power outage at Atlanta airport causes 'pandemonium,' grounds flights
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau gives Trump high marks, despite strained NAFTA talks
Is God going to do away with Christmas trees?
Report: NBC paid off producer who accused Chris Matthews of sexual harassment
Sen. Schumer: Bomb-detection units needed at transit hubs

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
First Liberty defending TX judge in prayer lawsuit

gavel with U.S. flagA federal court is being asked to dismiss the lawsuit against a Texas justice of the peace who allows chaplains to pray in his courtroom.