You are looking at posts in the category Religious freedom.
Maine, Maryland and WAshington states all passed referenda legalizing same-sex marriage on Nov. 6, 2012.
The Religious Land Use-Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000cc, prohibits enforcing local zoning laws against religious institutions if those laws impose a “substantial burden” on the free exercise of religion and not justified by a compelling government interest that cannot be achieved in a less burdensome manner. The Ninth Circuit applied this statute to deny a city the power to exclude a church from moving to a larger building located in an area zoned for industrial use in the case of International Church of the Foursquare Gospel v. City of San Leandro, 2011 WL 1518980 (9th Cir. 2011). Read article. The church had become bigger over time and was looking for a new facility and hoped to move into an abandoned industrial building. The city hoped to attract a business to the site that would employ city residents and argued that its interest in promoting jobs was a compelling government interest justifying refusal to rezone the property for church uses even if this refusal imposed a substantial burden on religious freedom. The Ninth Circuit held both that job creation was not a compelling government interest that justified such a burden on religious freedom and that even if it was, there were less burdensome ways to achieve that result.