Aug 4, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The Hindu Temple Society of North America, of Flushing, Queens, filed suit in federal court yesterday, claiming that local courts are aiding the hostile takeover of the Temple in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The Temple is represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an international, interfaith, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. It asks the federal court to issue an injunction barring the local court from further activity that would jeopardize the rights of the Temple and its devotees. If successful, the federal suit would prevent the State from enforcing an unprecedented intrusion into the religious affairs of a faith community.
“Would the state courts dare tell the Archdiocese of New York that parishioners must be able to vote Cardinal Egan out of office?” asked Roman Storzer, The Becket Fund’s director of litigation. “Of course not. The public would be outraged. Yet because Hinduism is an unfamiliar, minority religion, the Hindu Temple Society is suffering a similar fate here.”