New York mayor to challenge legal right to hold religious service in school gym

The Catholic League has accused Mayor Michael Bloomberg of supporting religious discrimination after news that his administration was going to challenge a two-year-old court ruling that allows a Christian group to hold Sunday services in a school gym.

The Bronx Household of Faith, an inner-city Christian church, won a ruling in federal district court in 2002 maintaining that it has a right to hold Sunday services in a New York City public school. 

“All over the United States, public schools are utilized after school hours by every conceivable community group," said Catholic League president William Donohue.  “Moreover, the courts have repeatedly said that religious groups cannot be discriminated against in having access to public facilities.”

Bloomberg’s decision to challenge the court ruling indicates his intention to “deny religious groups the same rights afforded secular groups,” said Donohue.  “In the name of diversity, he wants to destroy the diversity that the Bronx Household of Faith brings to New York.”

Donohue warned that Bloomberg “risks alienating the ranks of the faithful even further” through this action. Donohue noted that Bloomberg has also lost popularity among religious groups for his support of same-sex marriage.

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