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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Nonrecurring Use of Public Property by Adults for Religious Events and Activities

Volume 4 . Chapter 14 . § 14-06
Key point 14-06. Adults may use public property for religious purposes if the property is used by community organizations for non-religious purposes. Excluding religious speech, while allowing other kinds of speech, violates the First Amendment guaranty of free speech.

Several courts have ruled that public school officials cannot deny use of their facilities to religious groups if nonreligious community groups are permitted to use the facilities. In 1993, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a public high school that allows various community groups to rent its auditorium for "social, civic and recreational meetings and entertainments, and other uses pertaining to the welfare of the community," cannot deny the same privilege ...

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