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State AG Wants Answers From Monroe Village Mayor Re Law Putting Limits On Religious Gathering Places

Village of Monroe – The State Attorney General’s Office has fired off a letter to Monroe Mayor Neil Dwyer asking him to hold off on action on a local law that the office says, “appears to limit the ability of Orthodox Jews to practice their religion in violation of … state and federal laws.”

In a September 11 letter to the mayor from the attorney general’s civil rights bureau, Rick Sawyer wrote that “the proposed law places restrictions on residential gathering places, neighborhood places of worship, community places of worship, and schools of general instruction that could violate the rights of Orthodox Jews to exercise their religion.”

Sawyer cites state and federal laws that question the legality of the proposed measure. He also noted the federal Fair Housing Act makes it “unlawful to make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of … religion.” He also this law “has effectively been applied to zoning ordinances which discriminate against religious exercise in the past.”

The attorney general’s office askes the mayor to provide a written justification by September 29 “describing the compelling governmental interest Local Law 5 intended to address and why it is the least restrictive means for advancing that interest.”

Source: Mid-Hudsonn News

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