February 16, 2012
Churches facing eviction from New York City public schools won a brief reprieve today as a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order to allow congregations to meet in school buildings for 10 more days, OneNewsNow.com reports. "The court's order is a message of hope for fundamental freedoms in New York City because it means that, for the time being, the city must welcome churches as it does other groups," said Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund. The ruling gives the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York more time to consider arguments about the constitutionality of the city's ban on religious groups to rent vacant public school space on weekends -- the only such ban in the nation. State lawmakers now also have the opportunity to pass a bill to overturn the ban; a bill that would compel the city's education department to allow the worship services passed the state senate earlier this month and awaits action by the state assembly.